Global News – December 7, 2021
Pandemic conditions didn’t stop boaters from heading to B.C. this summer, and a small proportion arrived with invasive mussels in tow.
Insp. Dave Webster, in charge of the mussel defence program for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said in a report to the Okanagan Water Basin Board that compliance appears to be increasing as public awareness continues to grow.
“Most who are unaware seem to have only acquired a watercraft since the beginning of the pandemic, as people were staying closer to home,” reads the report.
The report to the water board states that 33,000 inspections were conducted in 2021, up from 29,900 inspections a year earlier.
Of all these inspections, there were 244 boats of varying kinds coming into B.C. identified as high-risk for invasive zebra or quagga mussels while 17 were confirmed carrying the mussels. In 2020 there were 16 mussels-fouled boats stopped, 22 in 2019 and 25 in 2018 and 2017.