OASISS employee Nina performs Plankton Tow sampling for Invasive Mussel Larvae in south Okanagan Lakes. Photo Credit: OASISS


Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS)

Summerland, BC  (January 04, 2024) – Another year of sampling suggests the Okanagan Valley lakes remain free of invasive mussels.

This information comes on the heels of devastating news from the United States. In September, Idaho announced invasive quagga mussels were confirmed in the Snake River, a tributary to the Columbia River.

The location at Twin Falls is less than an 11-hour drive from the B.C. border.
This will be the eleventh year in which OASISS has been monitoring the lakes for invasive mussels in the Okanagan. In 2023, the society collected 131
samples from five lakes across the valley.

“The discovery of invasive mussels so close to B.C. reinforces the importance of monitoring and continuing our prevention efforts,” says Lisa Scott, Executive Director of OASISS. “The arrival of invasive mussels would have lasting negative impacts to our lakes and rivers, as we have seen in other parts of
Canada and the US.”

OASISS recognizes the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and the Province of British Columbia for making significant financial contributions to support the invasive mussel monitoring project. These lake monitoring efforts support the Province’s ongoing delivery of the Invasive Mussel Defence Program.

To date, no invasive mussels have been detected in the province. Zebra and quagga mussels are non-native freshwater mollusks that are originally from Eastern Europe and Western Russia. They were originally introduced to Canada in the late 1980s and since then, have spread into lakes and waterways around North America, mainly by contaminated watercraft. In regions where they have already established, invasive mussels damage sensitive ecosystems, clog water intake
pipes and water infrastructure, ruin beaches, reduce water quality and impact tourism.

OASISS encourages anyone travelling with a watercraft to clean, drain and dry their boat before entering a new waterbody.


Media Contact: Lisa Scott, Executive Director Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society 250-490-7572

Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS)

About OASISS: The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and management of invasive species in the Okanagan-Similkameen region.

Established in 1996, OASISS addresses invasive species and their pathways of spread. Partners work collaboratively to prioritize species and management areas. The role of OASISS is to encourage and facilitate coordinated inventory, treatment and monitoring of invasive plants. The society is also responsible for monitoring local lakes for invasive mussels and other aquatic invasive species. Public
education programming and training is provided via websites, social media and in person throughout the region.

For more information on Invasive Mussels, www.dontmoveamussel.ca
For more information on the B.C. Invasive Mussel Defence Program www.gov.bc.ca/invasivemussels


Photo Credit Neil Bousquet

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