The Manitoba government is notifying boaters and watercraft users who use Lake Manitoba to follow all the required steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) following the detection of zebra mussels at the Lake Manitoba Narrows.
Zebra mussel veligers (juvenile zebra mussels) were detected in nine water samples collected from Lake Manitoba Narrows through monitoring conducted by the province in July 2021. This indicates there could be a reproducing population of zebra mussels in Lake Manitoba. Zebra mussels are an AIS that can impact aquatic ecosystems and native fish populations, clog water intakes, litter beaches and shorelines with shells, and foul watercraft and their engines.
Watercraft or water-related equipment in Lake Manitoba must now be decontaminated before being placed into another water body. Lake Manitoba water users will see new signage around the lake and at high-traffic access points such as boat launches, advising them of this important new requirement.
The province is informing interest holders and communities to help contain the infestation. Manitoba is also doing additional monitoring to determine the extent of the zebra mussel infestation and those results will guide future steps.
In addition, Manitoba will move to establish appropriate control zones under the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulation of the Water Protection Act. For more information on aquatic invasive species, including resources on how to can help stop the spread of zebra mussels, visit https://www.manitoba.ca/stopais/