Aquatic Hitchhikers Frozen out of Alberta

These little mussels are no match for a sharp set of eyes
These little mussels are no match for a sharp set of eyes

Observant Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers have intercepted another zebra mussel infested boat entering Alberta.

On December 10, officers at the Coutts Vehicle Inspection Station inspected a boat that was en route from Michigan to Alaska and found a Zebra mussels infestation.

“This is a timely reminder that anyone who transports watercraft must ensure their boats are clean and free of stowaway mussels prior to travel. Alberta will remain vigilant but requires public help to keep our province free of invasive mussels.”

~ Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Through the Alberta Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, more than 3,600 watercraft were examined at vehicle inspection stations and provincial boat launches in 2014, and three mussel-infested boats were intercepted,

As mussels are on the move all year long, the risk of infestation is constant. Owners must remember to clean, dry and drain their watercraft regardless of the time of year. An infestation of zebra or quagga mussels in Alberta waterbodies could cost the province approximately $75 million annually.

Currently, watercraft inspections are voluntary with approximately half of all eligible watercraft being inspected.