City of Chestermere News

Posted on: June 21, 2016

Come see Hilo the mussel detecting dog in action!

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Mussels and other Aquatic Invasive species can cling to the bottoms of boats, hide in small places and are harmful to the natural ecosystem. In order to combat this, the Government of Alberta has trained dogs to detect these species in Alberta’s waterways.

On June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cindy Sawchuck, with Alberta Environment and Parks, and Hilo, one of the members of Alberta's Conservation K-9 Unit, will be at the Boat Launch at Chestermere Lake doing demonstrations detecting mussels. Families, boaters and residents are all invited. Sawchuck will be there to answer any questions residents may have about Aquatic Invasive Species. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

“Zebra Mussels and Quagga Mussels are a threat to our waterways and we must ensure that they do not enter our beautiful Lake. We hope this event will bring awareness to how mussels are spread, and what we can do to prevent them from entering the Lake,” said Ken Jackson, Parks Supervisor for the City of Chestermere.

Aquatic Invasive Species are plants and animals (mussels) that can infest our lake, damage pumps and irrigation systems, and clog boat props. They are almost impossible to remove. These species have already infested many lakes in North America and are transported on boats and boating equipment. They can survive for up to 30 days outside of water and the larvae are too small to be seen.

“We are working diligently with western States and Provinces to search for mussels, because mussels don’t have borders,” said Cindy Sawchuck, AIS Watercraft Inspections and Conservation K-9 Program Lead with the Government of Alberta.

We all have a part in preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. If you are travelling with a boat, please remember to clean, drain and dry all equipment.

Click for more info on Aquatic Invasive Species
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