Invasive mussels: Fisheries minister asked to do more to protect Shuswap, Okanagan lakes

Salmon Arm Observer – December 31, 2019

Two Shuswap-Okanagan organizations plan to bring Canada’s new Fisheries minister up to speed on invasive mussels concerns while arguing more must be done at the federal government level.

“To date, we believe the federal government has not taken sufficient action on this issue, nor has it provided equitable funding to stop the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels,” states a letter to Bernadette Jordan, the newly minted minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, penned by the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB).

“Every year we experience invasive mussel-infested watercraft arriving at our borders — heading to the Okanagan, the Shuswap, and other B.C. locations, with the vast majority coming from mussel-infested waters within Canada,” said OBWB chair Sue McKortoff. 

“And every year, our water is put at risk — for drinking, for fish and other wildlife. Our famous beaches, our water infrastructure, and more, is also put at risk.”

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