WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is no longer looking to eradicate zebra mussels in provincial lakes and rivers, but rather prevent them from spreading any further.
“We have not given up on Lake Winnipeg and remain committed to fighting the spread of zebra mussels,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff.
“That is why we are doubling our investments to prevent them from spreading further to other lakes and rivers, and to raise awareness about zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species, particularly with boaters.”
The province will spend $1 million on the fight in 2016 and has already spent $520,000 in the past year.
Nevakshonoff couldn’t say whether the funding was on top of the province’s existing budget, or newly-introduced funding.
Boat inspection stations have been established near various lakes and rivers to assist in the fight. So far this year, 4,260 boat inspections have taken place.
A planned public awareness campaign surrounding zebra mussels will include:
• Providing information about the damage caused by zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species,
• Providing clear instructions about how to clean watercraft and water-related equipment properly, and
• Supplying information on the new aquatic invasive species laws.
The province also appointed Dr. Annette Trimbee, president of the University of Winnipeg and a respected public policy leader with a strong background in ecology and environmental science, as the co-chair for the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance Steering Committee.
To report a zebra mussel or other aquatic invasive species, call 1-87-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470) or go to manitoba.ca/stopais.