It’s been deemed one of the best beaches in Canada but it now has an unwelcome visitor.
The sharp D-shaped shells called zebra mussels lined the shore of Grand Beach this weekend forcing beach goers to watch their step to avoid being cut.
Van Whitehead and his wife Lorraine were strolling along the beach Friday morning when they came across piles of mussels, enough to scoop up in your hand.
“It was so gross,” Lorraine said. “We’ve never seen them at Grand Beach before.”
The province confirmed zebra mussels were spotted at Grand Beach last summer but couldn’t say if the problem is getting worse.
Zebra mussels first arrived in Manitoba in 2013 and into Lake Winnipeg through the Red River from North Dakota.
They can also arrive on boats and once they invade a body of water they multiple, quickly clogging up boat motors, sticking to docks and rocks and the dead ones will wash on shore affecting beaches.
In May 2014, the province temporarily closed four harbours where zebra mussels had been found in order to treat them with liquid potash. A substance harmless to humans but lethal to mussels. While it helped in small lakes, it’s quite difficult to eradicate the species in a large lake like Lake Winnipeg.
The province continues to monitor where the mussels pop up in hopes of preventing the spread to other lakes.