New program puts invasive mussels detection stations at BC borders for 2016

There will be eight permanent inspection stations protecting B.C. waters from invasive mussels in 2016, thanks to a $2 million partnership.

  • Mar. 31, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Premier Christy Clark announces permanent mussel detection stations will be set up for the 2016 boating season.

There will be eight permanent mussel inspection stations protecting B.C. waters from invasive mussels this year, thanks to a $2 million partnership.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement on the shores of Okanagan Lake near Kelowna on Wednesday, unveiling a plan to have five permanent stations on the B.C./Alberta border and three protecting B.C.’s border with Washington State.

The announcement is just for the 2016 boating season and the inspection stations are set to open April 1.

“To date no zebra or quagga mussels have ever been detected in B.C.’s waterways and we’re going to keep it that way, said B.C. Premier Christy Clark. “Eight more inspection stations are yet another tool towards ensuring we remain mussel-free.”

The program will be funded a series of partners. BC Hydro is providing $1.2 million while Fortis BC, Columbia Power and the Columbia Basin Trust, along with the province of B.C. are putting forward $250,000.

In total 32 conservation officers will work the stations 10 hours a day, seven days a week from April through October.

“It’s a massive step forward,” said a pleased Doug Findlater, the chairman  of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, a stewardship group who has been pushing the issue for the past several years.

“We appreciate the stations, the staffing, the signage and the decontamination units,” said Findlater, adding a note of caution. “External agency funding partnerships are great but they don’t last forever. We hope the province makes this a permanent mussel defence program and commits to ongoing core funding.”

The move was applauded by the Invasive Species Council of BC.

“These boat inspections will enhance our work in education and awareness through the Clean, Drain, Dry program,” said Gaill Wallin, the council’s executive director, in a news release. “There is a role for all of us who use our waters to make sure our equipment and boats are clean before going to other lakes or streams to keep BC free of invasive species, including zebra and quagga mussels.”

The program also includes:

— Increased highway signage near the stations

— Expanded Report All Poachers or Polluters response line coverage

— Increased opportunities to promote Clean, Drain, Dry education program

 

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

Graduation rates in Revelstoke 11 per cent above provincial average

Provincial average for high school graduation is 81 per cent, while it’s 92 per cent in Revelstoke

Cycling association and snowmobile club receive RMI funding

Revelstoke City Council delayed approving their applications earlier this year

Big Eddy School lots sold for $1.6 million

The Revelstoke school board approved the sales yesterday

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

Vernon bylaw says Frosty has to go: store owner

Vernon Teach and Learn told to take down inflatable snowman

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP surprised by Conservative leader’s resignation

Arnold predicts Conservative party will remain united in its quest to become government

Vernon business evacuated after gas line hit

A natural gas line was struck, emergency responders unsure of size

Lug nuts loosened on several vehicles in Vernon

Mischief makers reportedly compromising cars; motorists reminded to check vehicles before operating

Most Read