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Government of Manitoba
Conservation and Water Stewardship
Aquatic Invasive Species
What are Aquatic Invasive Species?

An aquatic invader is a non-native species, whose introduction will likely cause (or has already caused) damage to the host ecosystem, existing species therein, the economy or human well-being. Invasive species thrive in the absence of their native predators and have the potential to drastically alter habitat, rendering it inhospitable for native species. ( Source: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Why are Zebra Mussels making news?

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were confirmed in Lake Winnipeg in the fall of 2013. Zebra mussels are small, clam-like, aquatic animals that are a significant environmental and economic concern to Manitoba. Native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia, zebra mussels have caused millions of dollars in damage to the Laurentian Great Lakes area and have cost the North American economy billions of dollars to control.

Tips For Closing The Cottage This Fall

Carefully inspect for invasive species when removing docks, boat lifts, swim rafts and other water-related equipment for the winter. That means carefully checking on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged for extended periods.

On smooth surfaces, juvenile mussels (veligers) will feel gritty, like sandpaper while adult specimens have a hard shell and firmly attach to hard surfaces and will be very difficult to remove. If you suspect you have discovered zebra mussels in the north basin of Lake Winnipeg or in another lake or river, make a note of the exact location, take a digital photo and keep a specimen sample in case it needs to be verified.

Help to stop the spread of zebra mussels. Always use the proper four-step cleaning process – Clean, Drain, Dry and Dispose when leaving the lake to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to other lakes and rivers. Watercraft and water-based equipment should either be cleaned with high temperature and high-pressure water, or remain out of water for at least 18 days in the fall or left in freezing temperatures for three consecutive days before launching again.

Future updates on monitoring in Lake Winnipeg will be available at www.gov.mb.ca/stopais. It is important to report sightings of zebra mussels to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship as early detection is critical to contain the spread of this invasive mussel. Call 1-87-STOPAIS-0 (1-877-867-2470) (toll-free) or visit http://www.manitoba.ca/STOPAIS.

To report an Aquatic Invasive Species click Here

Other Aquatic Invasive Species
Rusty Crayfish

The Rusty Crayfish Image

Photo Courtesy of DFO
Zebra Mussel

The Zebra Mussel Image

Photo Courtesy of Ohio Sea Grant
Asian Carp

Asian Carp Image
Spiny Waterflea

Spiny Waterflea / Fishhook Waterflea Image
Invasive Giant Reed

Invasive Giant Reed Image
Round Goby

Round Goby Image
Eurasian Watermilfoil

Eurasian Watermilfoil Image
Curly-leaf Pondweed

Curly-leaf Pondweed Image
Quagga Mussel

Zebra Mussel/ Quagga Mussel Image
Fishhook Waterflea

Spiny Waterflea Image

If you think you have encountered an aquatic invasive species, or need further information, please contact:

Manitoba Conservation & Water Stewardship, Fisheries Branch
Box 20, 200 Saulteaux Cres.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3J 3W3

Telephone: (204) 945-7787
Fax: (204) 948-2308
Toll Free: (877) 867-2470
Email: fish@gov.mb.ca

To report an Aquatic Invasive Species click Here
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