Aquatic Invasive Species

Annual Reports

The annual reports provide information regarding the five elements of the Aquatic Invasive Species Program:

  1. Policy and Legislation
  2. Education and Outreach
  3. Monitoring
  4. Inspections
  5. Response

The reports also provide highlights of the program year, and priorities for the upcoming year.

Quagga and Zebra Mussels

Do you think you’ve spotted a quagga or zebra mussel? Remember, an attached mussel is an invasive mussel!

Report it to Alberta’s invasive species hotline at 1 855 336 BOAT (2628).

Invasive mussels pose a threat to Alberta’s aquatic ecosystems and economy as they are virtually impossible to eradicate.

Invasive mussels are filter feeders that strain suspended matter and food particles out of the water, disrupting natural food chains and leading to a depleted fishery (fewer and smaller fish) as the fish don’t have enough food.

Invasive mussels attach to hard substrates in the water, blanketing any surface and reproducing at extremely fast rates. Females can produce up to one million eggs every year, and there is no natural predator in Alberta.

If a mussel infestation occurred in Alberta, the province is estimating a total cost of $75,000,000 annually to protect and replace water operated infrastructure (such as drinking water systems, power generation and irrigation), and in lost revenue from recreational fishing. This estimate includes decreasing property values and increased boat maintenance costs for the individual Albertan.

Quagga and zebra mussels move from lake to lake by attaching themselves to boats and other recreational equipment. The adults can survive for 30 days out of water, while the veligers (larval stage) can survive in standing water for long periods of time.

Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)

Zebra Mussel

  • Originally from Russia, now found in various parts of North America, such as in Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba as of October 2013.
  • 1-3cm, D-shaped
  • Live up to 5 years

Quagga Mussel (Dreissena Bugensis)

Quagga Mussel

  • Originally from Ukraine, now found in various parts of North America, such as in the Colorado River system – a popular destination for Alberta snowbirds.
  • 1-3cm, D-shaped
  • Live up to 5 years
  • More adaptable than Zebra mussels – can attach to softer substrates and survive in colder water

For additional information on Zebra and Quagga mussels, visit:

For information on how Clean + Drain + Dry your boat in order to protect Alberta's waters from aquatic invasive species see:

Keeping Alberta waters free of aquatic invasive species is a high priority, and the province has formed an Inter-Provincial Territorial Agreement for Co-ordinated Regional Defence Against Invasive Species to keep these invaders out.

Boaters

Visit the Clean, Drain, Dry your Boat page to find out information boaters need to follow to help top the spread of aquatic invasive species:

Off-Highway vehicle users

Remove any vegetation or clumps of mud or debris from the vehicle and thoroughly clean the underside of vehicles, tires and parts before moving to another area.

What’s the Government of Alberta doing about aquatic invasive species?

Environment and Parks is working closely with a variety of stakeholders. Together, we have developed a program that includes these components:

  • Monitoring
  • Rapid response planning
  • Education and outreach
  • Watercraft inspections
  • Policy

List of Specified Penalty Ticket Amounts – 2018 Additions

As part of Alberta’s ongoing commitment to protecting our natural landscape and important water resources, enforcement officials will be better armed to issue fines without a mandatory court appearance for Fisheries (Alberta) Act abuses starting May 31, 2018. These additional fines will assist in preventing the introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species through improved compliance and enforcement tools to ensure stopping at mandatory watercraft inspections and ensure that boats are drained (through pulling the plug) while in transport.

Below is a summary list of additional Fisheries (Alberta) Act offences and their corresponding specified penalty ticket amounts that will come into effect on May 31, 2018. The amounts listed below include the victim fine surcharge. A victim surcharge is a monetary penalty imposed on offenders at the time of sentencing. These funds are used to provide programs, services and assistance to victims of crime.

Legislation and Section Description/ Particulars Ticket Amount
Fisheries (Alberta) Act 33.2(3) Conveyance operator fail to stop/submit to inspection at inspection station $310
Fisheries (Ministerial) Regulation 6.1 Transport watercraft on highway by means of conveyance with drainage hole/bilge blocked with a plug $172

 

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Updated: Jun 23, 2018