Zebra mussels have been found for the first time in Sipiwesk Lake, Manitoba officials say.
The aquatic invasive species were first discovered in the province in 2013, when they were located in the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg. It was expected they would move down the Nelson River naturally, so it was designated an aquatic invasive species (AIS) control zone in 2015 to help prevent the introduction and control the spread of zebra mussels and spiny waterflea.
Sipiwesk Lake is located north of Cross Lake and is part of the Nelson River.
Zebra mussels can impair community drinking water systems and other industries that use water from affected water bodies. They can contaminate watercraft motors and shorelines. Zebra mussels also negatively affect commercial fishers, lodge operators and local tourism.
To help curb the spread, mandatory watercraft inspection stations are operating into the middle of fall. AIS requirements and set fines for offences are in effect year-round.