“The province has indicated they are considering this legislative change,” reads part of a report from board staff going to directors on Sept. 8.

Quagga and zebra mussels, which have spread to many other jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S., can foul beaches, damage infrastructure, degrade water quality, and impact other aquatic species. The mussels are often transported by the movement of recreational watercraft.

Since 2015, about 250,000 watercraft being towed into B.C. have been inspect­ed at check-points for mussels. Contam­ination has been found on 158 vessels, the OBWB says.

People towing boats into B.C. are re­quired to stop at the provincially-funded inspection stations, which include the presence of mussel-sniffing dogs, when they are open. But the OBWB has been pressing for the operation of the stations to be expanded so that all boats entering the province are inspected.

The hoped-for ‘pull-the-plug’ legislation would require people to remove their vessel’s drain plug prior to travelling on all roads.

Penticton Herald Staff