Province Implements Rapid Response Protocol to Prevent Spread to Other Lakes, Rivers
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship confirms zebra mussels have been found in Manitoba waters. Mussels were recently found on the hull of a private boat and a dock at Winnipeg Beach, and on some fishing boats dry docked at Gimli.
Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species that multiply rapidly, affecting fish and other native aquatic species. Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship continues to investigate where the species has been established in Manitoba waters.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is implementing a rapid-response protocol to address the situation. This includes: Ensuring staff are on site at Winnipeg Beach, Gimli and Hecla to provide information to watercraft owners and local residents to help identify zebra mussels, collect samples to determine the extent of infestation and advise on steps everyone can follow to help prevent the further spread of this aquatic invasive species. Watercraft inspection teams will be in the Winnipeg Beach and Gimli areas from this weekend until lake freeze-up. Deploying mobile decontamination units for aquatic invasive species where necessary. Teams' locations will change depending on need and as new information is received. Engaging stakeholders to make them aware that zebra mussels have been found in Manitoba and what can be done to deal with the situation. Extending the watercraft inspection program to help collect data about this situation.
The public can call 1-877-867-2470 (toll-free) for up-to-date information about the exact daily location of these teams.
All individuals who live along or boat in the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and Nelson River are asked to watch for zebra mussels, report any findings and clean boats and any water-related equipment before using it elsewhere.
To avoid the spread of zebra mussels to other areas in Manitoba, boat owners are asked to implement the following steps before launching and before leaving the Red River and Lake Winnipeg: Clean and inspect watercraft, trailers and all water-based equipment. Remove all plants, animals or mud. Rinse with hot water, preferably 50C (120F) or hotter, for several minutes. Drain water from watercraft and all water-based equipment (motors, live wells, bilges, transom wells, nets, ballast tanks and bait buckets). Dry all equipment, boots and clothing before transporting them to another water body. Dry anything that comes into contact with water such as watercraft and gear for at least five days in the hot sun, 18 days in the spring or fall, or freeze for three days continuously if rinsing is not possible. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash and dump all water from bait buckets on land away from any water body. Never release plants, fish
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