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Invasive zebra mussels discovered in Manitoba lake

by Ace Damon

WINNIPEG – Adult zebra mussels were found in a lake in Manitoba, reported the Manitoba government’s Agriculture and Resource Development sector.

The mussels, considered an invasive species, were found in Lake Sipiwesk, located north of Cross Lake, and are part of the Nelson River.

The government said it was the first time that mussels had been found in the lake.

The province said that zebra mussels were first found in the southern basin of Lake Winnipeg in 2013. It expected mussels to move naturally along the Nelson River, and therefore the province designated the area as an aquatic invasive species control area (AIS ) in 2015.

The province announced in August 2019 that mussels were found in the Nelson River for the first time.

At that point, provincial officials notified communities and close stakeholders to tell them about the discovery.

Zebra mussels can cause a variety of problems for affected water bodies, as they can affect the community’s drinking water systems.

They can also affect the boat’s engines and shorelines. Mussels can also have negative impacts on water-based industries, such as commercial fishing, inn operators and local tourism.

The province said that the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species is preventable and anyone using the water, whether for sailors or bathers, said they could do their part.

There are bait and decontamination requirements in the AIS control zones and people with boats, including canoes and kayaks, must stop at the boat inspection stations when they are open.

Inspection stations are open until mid-autumn.

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