Saskatchewan decontaminates two boats with visible mussels

Boaters in Saskatchewan are being urged to prevent stowaways from entering the province's lakes and waterways this summer.
Saskatchewan decontaminates 25 boats, two with visible mussels, as part of the 2016 aquatic invasive species monitoring program. Peter Yates / Getty Images

Officials in Saskatchewan said mussels were attached to two boats being brought into the province.

Those were two of the 25 boats decontaminated during 2016 as part of the government’s aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring program.

“This year, 776 watercraft inspections were done, and we completed 25 decontaminations,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said.

“Two of these boats actually had visible mussels attached to the watercraft.  The remaining decontaminations were due to boats coming from high-risk waters, or they may have had standing water in the boat.”

READ MORE: New Sask. highway signs warn of dangers of aquatic invasive species

The province is on alert for aquatic invasive species, including zebra and quagga mussels, after the destructive mussels were found in Manitoba and neighbouring states.

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Invasive mussel larvae were discovered this fall in the Tiber Reservoir, the first time larvae have been found in Montana.

“As a province, we really need to be diligent in our efforts to stop these invasive species from entering our lakes and waterways,” Moe said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan on the lookout for invasive aquatic species

To date, there have been no confirmed findings of invasive mussels in 70 Saskatchewan high-risk waters sampled this year.

Invasive species are almost impossible to remove once established in a waterway.

It can severely impact aquatic habitats, fisheries, valuable recreational resources and water-related infrastructure and can cost millions of dollars to contain.