Province asks boaters to help prevent spread of zebra mussels in Lake Manitoba

Winnipeg Beach was covered by scores of zebra mussels in this 2018 file photo.
Winnipeg Beach was covered by scores of zebra mussels in this 2018 file photo. Timm Bruch / Global News

The province is urging Manitoba boaters to follow decontamination steps to prevent the spread of zebra mussels after the invasive species was detected at Lake Manitoba Narrows.

Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler said Tuesday that nine water samples collected from Lake Manitoba Narrows last month show the presence of juvenile zebra mussels, indicating there could be a reproducing population in the lake.

“We know that Manitobans support our effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and most boaters are responsible about following the steps to clean, drain, dry and decontaminate their equipment,” he said.

“We need to ensure boaters and all surface water users get on board with protecting our environment and help contain the new finding of zebra mussels in Lake Manitoba.”

Read more: Zebra mussels discovered in another Manitoba lake

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The mussels have been known to contaminate aquatic ecosystems, impact native fish populations, affect boats and engines, and litter beaches with their shells.

The province said it will be establishing control zones under the Water Protection Act, and asking boaters to decontaminate all watercraft and water-related equipment before it’s placed into another body of water.

Click to play video: 'Dangers of zebra mussels in Manitoba'
Dangers of zebra mussels in Manitoba

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