Mussels, mussels everywhere – with OBWB stuck in the middle

Osoyoos Times – August 15, 2019

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has mussels on its mind — in more ways than one.

The Board learned today it had earned a reprieve from proposed federal endangered listing of the native Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel, a native found along Okanagan lakeshores.

“We are very pleased with this decision,” said Anna Warwick Sears, OBWB’s Executive Director. “It allows more flexibility for us to manage invasive milfoil, keep the beaches clean, and protect water quality,” adding the Board is now renewing its call to be permitted to continue rototilling invasive milfoil weeds at public beaches and boating areas.

Rototilling involves physically removing the roots of the plant from the bottom of a lake. It is also referred to as de-rooting and is accomplished in the late fall and winter through the use of floating “rototillers.”

According to the OBWB, “rototilling minimizes interference with water recreation, reduces the spread of viable plant fragments, and eliminates the need to dispose of plant material.”

But, says the province, it also endangers the native mussels.

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