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Mussel threat turns real during training session

A conservation officer examines a boat for mussels.
Image Credit: Okanagan Basin Water Board
August 19, 2015 - 6:30 PM

OKANAGAN - A training session on how to inspect for invasive mussels turned hands-on when a contaminated boat showed up from Ontario.

An Ontario couple shipped the boat to the Lower Mainland after it was moored for several months in the mussel-infested Rideau Canal, according to a press release from the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

The boat was inspected for mussels before it left Ontario but was stopped in Alberta and decontaminated before carrying on to the Okanagan, spokeswoman Corrine Jackson says. Authorities in Alberta phoned ahead and the boat was ordered to Kelowna on Monday for follow-up inspection.

It took the B.C inspectors just minutes to find several mussels the size of a grain of sand on various parts of the boat, which was then moved to a gravelled location for full decontamination.

This is the just the latest in a string of incidents this summer where suspected high risk boats have been stopped and decontaminated in B.C.

The water board has been lobbying federal and provincial governments to beef up mussel inspection and control in a bid to ward off contamination by the invasive species.

A mussel the size of a grain of sound found on a boat bound for Okanagan Lake.
A mussel the size of a grain of sound found on a boat bound for Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: Okanagan Basin Water Board

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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