Lacombe County looks to prevent damage to Alberta lakes

Lacombe County is extending its efforts to keep its lakes free of aquatic invasive species

  • May. 14, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Lacombe County is extending its efforts to keep its lakes free of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

These species include Eurasian Watermilfoil, Quagga Mussels and Zebra Mussels, which, if introduced to Alberta lakes, could cause extreme amounts of damage.

These species can live out of water for 30 days, can reproduce 1 million eggs every year and are almost impossible to eradicate.

If introduced they can cause millions of dollars in damage to water-operated infrastructure as well as aquatic ecosystems.

Alberta does not currently have Eurasian Watermilfoil, Quagga Mussels or Zebra Mussels. It is now mandatory in Alberta to stop at any open boat inspection station to have your boat and/or water-related equipment inspected for invasive species. It’s the law.

Lacombe County will be partnering with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development on May 30th to undertake boat inspections at the Gull Lake Aspen Beach boat launch.

All participants will be entered into a draw to win some great prizes.

Meanwhile, the species can be spread quickly by water users with unclean equipment. In order to prevent the spread, we recommend the following: clean and inspect watercraft, trailer and gear; remove all plants, animals and mud at the access area or dock; at home, soak your gear in a 2% bleach solution for one minute (20 milliliters of bleach per litre of water) and rinse, scrub or pressure wash your boat away from storm drains, ditches or waterways.

Also, drain on land before leaving the water body, drain all water from bait buckets, ballasts, bilges, coolers, internal compartments, live wells and transom motors.

Never release live bait into a water body or transfer aquatic plants or animals from one water body to another.

And for paddleboats, drain by inverting or tilting the watercraft, opening compartments and removing seats if necessary.

Dry the watercraft and gear completely between trips and allow the wet areas of your boat to air dry.

Also, leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.

For more information, or to report something suspicious, call toll free 1-855-336-2628.