Premier Christy Clark announced a $2 million enhancement to BC’s mussel defence program that protects BC’s freshwater ecosystems from invasive species of mussels.

New mussel inspection station opens near Castlegar

As of April 1, Castlegar is home to a new permanent invasive mussel inspection station.

As of April 1, Castlegar is home to a new permanent invasive mussel inspection station.

Last week Premier Christy Clark announced a $2 million boost to the province’s invasive mussel defence program to fund eight new permanent mussel inspection stations installed at major entry points along BC’s borders.

Five inspection stations are setup along the BC-Alberta border and the other three are setup along the BC-US border. Five of the stations are in the Columbia Basin, located near Castlegar, Golden, Radium, Sparwood and Valemount.

Funding for the new stations is being provided through BC Hydro, FortisBC, Columbia Power and the Columbia Basin Trust, with the province making in kind contributions with staff, equipment and office space.

There will be a total of 32 conservation officers working the stations, which will be open 10 hours a day, seven days a week from now until October. This is an increase of 20 crew members from last year’s pilot project. Expansion of the program also includes increased highway signage at the station locations, expanded monitoring for quagga and zebra mussels, expanded Report All Poachers or Polluters (RAPP) response line coverage, and increased education and outreach activities.

Quagga and zebra mussels are a threat to BC’s aquatic ecosystems, salmon populations, hydro power stations and other infrastructure. The mussels can clog pipes, displace native aquatic plants and wildlife, degrade the environment and affect drinking water quality.

“It’s a very significant threat for us, because we know that if they get a foothold in British Columbia, they become established in our waters and our waterways, it could cost us millions of dollars,” Clark said at the announcement. “We estimate $43 million every year in economic impact. So we’ve started with our preventative approach.”

Last year’s pilot project caught 34 watercraft in need of decontamination, 15 of which were confirmed to be transporting invasive mussels or their larvae. Six of those were issued a 30-day quarantine order due to risk of live mussels.

Anyone aware of boats or equipment that may be contaminated should contact the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Accident closes Hwy 22 near Castlegar

Highway not expected to reopen until Sunday.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Tour company plans shuttle service to Kelowna for stranded travellers

SMT Kootenay wants to help travellers get in and out of ‘Cancelgar’ in winter months

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Castlegar pastors find life in wheelchair a challenge

The men found the obstacles were both physical and mental.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Most Read