Invasive zebra mussels have turned up in Lake Winnipeg, raising concern for conservation officials.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship says the mussels were recently found on the hull of a private boat and a dock at Winnipeg Beach, and on some fishing boats dry docked at Gimli.
The species can quickly spread to other lakes and rivers, threatening fish and other native aquatic species.
Officials are implementing a rapidresponse protocol to address the situation, ensuring staff are on site at Winnipeg Beach, Gimli and Hecla to provide information to watercraft owners and local residents to help identify zebra mussels, collect samples to determine the extent of infestation and advise on steps everyone can follow to help prevent the further spread of this aquatic invasive species.
Watercraft inspection teams will be in the Winnipeg Beach and Gimli areas from this weekend until lake freeze-up. Mobile decontamination units may be deployed if needed.