Zebra Mussels Now Present In Lake Winnipeg North Basin

Last Updated: 2015/10/26 03:58:22 AM

October 22, 2015

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship reports fall monitoring show zebra mussels are now present in the north basin of Lake Winnipeg.

Of the 24 samples collected during the fall Lake Winnipeg monitoring program, one zebra mussel veliger was found in a single water sample collected southeast of George Island.  The sampling of Lake Winnipeg is a joint program between the Manitoba government and the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium.

Zebra mussels are present in Lake Winnipeg, the Manitoba portion of the Red River, and Cedar Lake immediately west of Grand Rapids.

Manitobans are reminded that under the federal Fisheries Act, it is illegal to possess or transport zebra mussels.  Penalties for possessing zebra mussels may result in fines or prosecution under this act.

The spread of zebra mussels is preventable.  Manitobans must to take the proper steps before leaving any water body to:
• clean and remove any visible aquatic plants, AIS or mud from the watercraft, trailer and all water-related equipment;
• drain all water from motor, bilge, bait buckets and any compartments;
• dry all water-related equipment and any hard-to-drain compartments that have contacted the water with a dry towel or sponge before it is used in any other body of water; and
• dispose of unused bait and worms in the trash.

The measures watercraft owners, including owners of water-based aircraft, should undertake if moored for longer than 24 hours in Lake Winnipeg, the Red River or Cedar Lake to prevent the spread of zebra mussels are explained in a document called The Zebra Mussel Directive.  It is available:
• by emailing fish@gov.mb.ca;
• online at www.manitoba.ca/stopais;
• in person at Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship regional offices in Riverton, Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, Selkirk, Pine Falls and Grand Beach between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday; or
• in person at Conservation and Water Stewardship at 200 Saulteaux Cres. in Winnipeg between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

To report a zebra mussel or any other AIS from a location, take pictures and visit the website at www.manitoba.ca/stopais or call 1-87-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470).