LETHBRIDGE - A new watercraft inspection program is designed to prevent the spread of
harmful and invasive plants and animals.
Boats and water equipment
entering Alberta from other jurisdictions will be examined for things like
Eurasian watermifoil and zebra and quagga mussels.
If the boat is found to have zebra or quagga mussels, it will be
decontaminated or the owner will be asked to keep the watercraft out of
Alberta's waters for up to 30 days. If Eurasian watermilfoil or other plants are
found on the watercraft, it will be washed on site.
The mussels can spread quickly and once introduced to a waterbody, they're
virtually impossible to eradicate. Spokesperson Carrie Sancartier says, "They are
from Europe and in the 1980's they came across and made their way into the Great
Lakes and caused quite a bit of damage to water infrastructure and that's a risk
for Alberta, particularly in the south, because of the amount of water
infrastructure we have in terms of irrigation and water intakes and water
treatment plants." Invasive plant species such as Eurasian watermilfoil can
also crowd out native plants and damage ecosystems.
You can report suspicious material on boats or equipment using the toll free
hotline 1-855-336-2628. If you're using your boat in more than one waterbody, be
sure to clean, drain and dry your boat and equipment before moving to