By LSWC staff
Lesser Slave Lake along with the rest of Alberta’s waterways are at risk of becoming infested by harmful aquatic invasive species such as Zebra and Quagga mussels.
Whether you’re an avid fisherman, weekend recreationalist or just enjoy the occasional afternoon at the beach it is important to know about these aquatic invaders and what you can do to help stop their spread.
To inform people in our region the LSWC is going to be hosting a workshop all about invasive species with our friends from the provincial Invasive Species Team on April 12th in Faust, AB from 10am to 4pm.
The workshop is free to attend and is open to everyone but registration is required.
Call 780-523-9800 or email to register and learn about invasive plants and animals that are threat- ening our lakes’ health and sustainability.
Aquatic invasive species are non-native plant or animal species that are introduced, usually by accident, to Alberta’s waterways from other jurisdictions.
Usually this happens when gear and equipment such as boats are not properly drained or cleaned when they are moved between different bodies of water.
Some species such as Zebra and Quagga mussels can survive up to 30 days in little to no water making it especially important to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boats and equipment whenever moving from one location to another.
Once invasive species get established in a body of water they are almost impossible to get rid of and can end up causing millions of dollars of damage to water based infrastructure.
To make matters worse, in most cases these aquatic invaders have no natural predators here in Alberta; meaning that they can grow and reproduce rapidly, damaging our native ecosystems and taking over habitat that our local fish and wildlife species depend on.
Although they represent quite a threat, Zebra and Quagga mussels aren’t the only invasive species Albertan’s have to worry about. Eurasian Water Milfoil is an aggressive and fast growing aquatic plant that can take over waterways, outcompet- ing native plant species and hindering recreation by making it next to impossible to run a boat propeller without having it constantly clogged with plant material.
Another relatively new development is the discovery of Whirling Disease in the Bow River.
Whirling disease can affect trout, whitefish and salmon. It impairs the nervous system causing a distinct spinning or whirling motion in infected fish making it hard for them to properly swim and eat and turning them into easy prey. This disease currently is not present in our lake and watershed and we want to keep it that way.
Make sure to clean drain and dry your boat and all of your fishing or recreation gear whenever you are traveling between different water bodies. For more information or to register for our workshop please call 780-523-9800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org