Don’t forget threat of invasive aquatic species

Albertans eager to get back onto lakes and irrigation reservoirs shouldn’t forget about the threat of invasive aquatic species, says the association representing the province’s 13 irrigation districts.

“All watercraft owners have a part to play in preventing aquatic invasive species from being introduced into Alberta waterbodies,” the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association said in a release.

“Alberta’s waterbodies are most at risk from species such as zebra and quagga mussels, eurasian water milfoil, and flowering rush.”

Boats and other motorized watercraft as well as kayaks and canoes should be cleaned, drained and dried. Vegetation or mud on watercraft or a trailer should be removed, and fishing and sports equipment (such as tubes and wakeboards) should be cleaned.

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The province has watercraft inspection stations throughout Alberta and anyone transporting watercraft is required to stop for an inspection. Social distancing measures will be in place this year.

“In some areas of the province, including southern Alberta’s irrigated region, boat launch operators are supporting provincial prevention and inspection activities by making sure high-risk watercraft do not launch unless cleared to do so through a provincial inspection,” the association said.

For more information, call 1-855-336-BOAT (2628).

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