Mussel collection. (Contributed)

Volunteer to monitor for invasive mussels and clams in the Okanagan

The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society has launched the initiative

The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) is launching a citizen science initiative to help monitor for zebra, quagga mussels and Asian clams in Okanagan lakes.

The project offers two types of volunteer positions during August and September that involve community members in aquatic invasive species detection.

The first position seeks homeowners who have private docks on Kalamalka, Wood, Okanagan, Skaha, Vaseux or Osoyoos lakes to monitor for zebra and quagga mussels. Volunteers will receive a pair of mussel monitors to be attached to their docks and will be required to check them every two weeks.

“Our society has been checking for invasive mussels for eight years, however, this initiative will greatly expand our efforts to regions of the lakes that were previously inaccessible,” said Lisa Scott, executive director of OASISS.

The citizen science initiative also offers an opportunity for shoreline surveys looking for Asian clams along Osoyoos Lake.

“Asian clams are already established on the Washington side of Osoyoos Lake,” said Scott. “The shoreline surveys will allow us to monitor and protect this high-risk lake from further infestations on the Canadian side.”

READ MORE: ‘Everyone needs to do better’: Kelowna Mayor on city’s rising COVID-19 numbers

According to Invasive Species Society, invasive mussels and Asian clams are not known to occur in the Okanagan valley. If they were to arrive they could cause irreversible damage. In regions where they are already established, invasive mussels and Asian clams damage sensitive ecosystems, clog intake pipes and water infrastructure, affect water quality, impact tourism and the local economy.

“We are extremely concerned about the possibility of invasive mussels or Asian clams arriving here,” said Scott. “It’s imperative as a community to do everything in our power to protect our lakes from an invasion.”

The current project is being funded in part by the Okanagan Basin Water Board and is to run in conjunction with their ‘Don’t Move A Mussel’ initiative. The society has also received a grant from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to support the monitoring of Okanagan lakes for invasive mussels through both water sampling and monitoring stations.

To register for the project, contact oasiss.register@gmail.com or call Sierra at 250-718-7901.

READ MORE: Province mobilizes influencers to get COVID-19 messaging out to young people in Kelowna


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two people die in outdoor shower, in Tulameen

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: More personnel at Dry Lake fire, 43 properties remain under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

Paper mache Dr. Bonnie Henry stars in North Okanagan exhibit

Beyond the Mask art show kicks off in Village of Lumby

Most Read