Educating Princeton and area on the threats of aquatic invasive species

The biggest threats are the Zebra and Quagga mussels, New Zealand Mud snails, Didymo (Rock Snot) and the Spiny Water Flea.

Three presentations were made during the Community Forest meeting held at the Riverside Centre on Saturday, April 13. Numerous individuals representing the communities of Area H attended the afternoon session.

RDOS Area H director Brad Hope chaired the meeting and introduced guest speakers, Rob Smylie, Rob Marshall, Timberlands division of Weyerhaeuser and Heather Larratt of Larratt Aquatic Consulting.

Smylie presented the pet oxygen mask kits from Wag’N O2 Fur Life®, that he had introduced in the community of Princeton two weeks earlier.  It was unanimously agreed by the  group that each of the communities would like to have access to the life saving masks for pets. Smylie assured them that he would continue his fundraising efforts in order to supply all the interested areas with the $170 kits.

Hope and Marshall explained the Community Forest, an equal partnership between the RDOS, Upper Similkameen Indian Band and the Town of Princeton.

The Vermilion Forks Community Forest Corporation (VFCFC) has an industry partner – Weyerhaeuser, which manages the timber operations of approximately 11,000 hectares of forest lands surrounding Princeton. The product harvested and sold by the corporation results in funding for the partners to distribute back into their communities.

A discussion held in regards to sharing of funds throughout the communities resulted in the decision to form a committee to represent all of the communities. For the time being, those present chose to apply funding towards the Osprey and Erris Volunteer Fire Departments.

Both departments have been actively fundraising, just not able to yet reach their goals to finish the fire halls. They will receive a benefit of $15,000 each.

Heather Larratt, (R.P. Bio) of Larratt Aquatic Consulting came to educate the group on the threats of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Larratt says the biggest threats are the Zebra and Quagga mussels, New Zealand Mud snails, Didymo (Rock Snot) and the Spiny Water Flea. These species are a threat to plants and animals of B.C., with the freshwater ecosystems being especially vulnerable.  These AIS tolerate different environments, adapting rapidly, they reproduce rapidly and can be transported via boats and gear.

Outside of taking over beaches, the mussels can cause major damage by clogging water intakes, pumps, and water distribution systems.

“Once they get in, you can’t get them out,” said Larratt.

To further explain her statement Larratt explained the predicament of the Great Lakes.

Within a period of four years, mussels spread throughout all of the Great Lakes. Costs just to manage the infestation from the year 2000 to 2010 was 5 billion dollars.

In December of 2012 it became illegal to transport AIS in B.C. Failure to clean mussels off boats or equipment could result in a fine of up to $100,000.

Public education is key in taking a proactive approach to protecting B.C. from AIS. Larratt suggests a “clean, drain and dry” approach for all boating/sporting equipment when moving from one body of water to another.

An extensive report on AIS and prevention has been prepared for the Okanagan Basin Water Board by Larratt Aquatic Consulting and is available at http://www.obwb.ca/fileadmin/docs/2013_obwb_ais_report.pdf

 

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ plan going forward

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read