Monthly Archives: May 2020

 

Boating season is here! With the arrival of warm weather and the cautious re-opening of activities, many of us are now thinking about boating, paddling, and fishing.

For the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), boating season means it’s time to turn up the heat on invasive Zebra and Quagga mussel prevention. The increased movement of boats and other watercraft into the region means there’s an increased risk of an accidental introduction of the invasive mussels.

Zebra and Quagga mussels – two species of small, freshwater mussels that originate in Europe – have incredible destructive potential. The mussels occur in parts of eastern and central Canada, but fortunately they have not invaded British Columbia or our nearest neighbour, Alberta.

“Zebra and quagga mussels create enormous problems in lakes because they cling to and form colonies on objects under water: boats, dock pilings, water supply and irrigation systems – anything. This imposes costly, nuisance maintenance.  It’s impossible to get rid of them once they are established in a waterbody,” says Robyn Hooper, Executive Director of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society.

That’s not all. “The mussels will litter beaches with their razor sharp shells. They produce foul odours, and they pollute water quality which puts the lake ecosystem and drinking water at risk,” adds Hooper.

“Boat and watercraft owners have an important part to play in preventing the spread of invasive mussels,” Hooper says. This is because the primary way invasive mussels invade new waterbodies is by ‘hitch hiking’ on boats, fishing gear, and other watercraft including canoes and paddleboards. Adult mussels are small, about 1 centimeter in diameter, and may be attached to watercraft inside compartments or other hard-to-spot areas. Juvenile mussels are free-swimming and microscopic – impossible to detect with the human eye.

“At this time, we don’t really know what the tourism season might look like, in terms of the number of people travelling here with a watercraft,” says Hooper. “Even so, we are treating this very seriously. Watercraft from outside of BC could potentially be infested with invasive mussels. It could take just one infested watercraft launching into a BC waterway to start a new population of invasive mussels here.”

There are two prevention measures that boat and watercraft owners need to follow, Hooper explains. “The first measure is to clean, drain, and dry your watercraft every time you move it out of a lake or waterbody. By doing this, you’re greatly eliminating the chance that you’re moving invasive species.”

“The second prevention measure is to stop at watercraft inspection stations in your travels,” Hooper adds.

There are several watercraft inspection stations set up at entry-points to BC staffed by the Conservation Officer service. “All travellers with watercraft are must stop. Watercraft will be inspected and, if necessary, decontaminated free of charge.”

Watercraft inspection isn’t required for travellers within BC. However, residents can help raise awareness for the importance of inspection. “We encourage residents to talk to their out-of-province family and friends that plan to travel to BC with their watercraft,” adds Hooper. “The more people that know about invasive mussels and watercraft inspection, the less vulnerable we are to an infestation.”

Any suspected transport or possession of zebra and quagga mussels should be reported to the Provincial RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. For more information about bringing a boat into BC, visit the provincial website https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/invasive-mussels/bringing-your-boat-to-bc. For more information on zebra and quagga mussels, visit CSISS’s website at w https://columbiashuswapinvasives.org/resources-for-boaters/.

About: The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management, and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap region.

Contact: For more information, please contact Robyn Hooper/Sue Davies at the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society in Revelstoke at 1-855-785-9333.

 
Spring Events and Updates
May is Invasive Species Action Month!  |  Save the date: CSSIS spring workshops go online  |  May and June events   |  Aquatic and terrestrial field program updates  |  New  YouTube channel! 
CSISS Program updates 
It is likely that many of our invasive species field operations will continue as planned, with necessary modifications to ensure the safety of staff and contractors is maintained. We also encourage you to do your part in helping to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species by practicing these preventative measures outlined by the BC Centre for Disease Control. Outreach activities are adapting in new and creative ways, including new workshop online formats, as per below event calendar. CSISS also has put together a Covid-19 Exposure Control Plan (as per Worksafe BC requirements) to ensure safety for our staff – funders and partners are welcome to get in touch if they are interested in viewing this plan. We hope you’re having a wonderful spring, staying safe and healthy! Please send us any feedback or questions to: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org
UPCOMING EVENTS AND WAYS TO TAKE ACTION!
May 16th– Invasive mussel outreach display booth at boat launch in Sicamous (weather dependent, with physical distancing measures in place)May 16th  – May 23rd  National Invasive Species Awareness Week : week of webinars offered by the Canadian Council on Invasive Species.

May 21st– CSISS will be a guest speaker for the Canadian Council on Invasive Species’s webinar series:  Reducing the spread of Invasive Species through Play Clean Go. Register for webinar here.

May 27th CSISS and CKISS are hosting a webinar with the Columbia Basin Environmental Education and Network’s Wild Voices Online series: From Here and Away; Exploring the Differences Between Native and Invasive Species in BC’s Wetland’s and Beyond. Register here!

June 16th and June 30th – Join one of two CSISS online workshops on Invasive Plant ID and Management  – Carrot Family ID focus (e.g. Wild Parsnip, Wild Chervil, Giant Hogweed) – see more information below! Register HERE.

June 24th– Edible Invasives Workshop online through Okanagan College. Register HERE.

More details of the above events described below!

CONTACT CSISS TO BOOK AN ONLINE TRAINING PRESENTATION FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION at: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Spring Invasive Plant ID and Management Training goes online!

Want to know how to identify and manage invasives? Join one of our two training sessions offered FREE online this June

CSISS will be hosting one hour online workshops that are applicable to industry, forestry, Indigenous Peoples, municipal and regional staff, landscapers, gardeners, stewardship groups and other interested individuals. Learn to identify key invasive plants in your area and implement best management practices in the field to prevent the spread of invasive species. The ID portion of the course this year will focus on the carrot family species – such as Giant Hogweed, Wild Chervil, Wild Parsnip and others. Sign up for one of the course dates below!

Dates: June 16th (10 am-11am PDT) and June 30th (2pm-3pm PDT)
Format:
 Zoom Meeting
These workshops are FREE however pre-registration is required.
Registration details here

Teachers and parents mark your calendars!

We will be hosting a webinar alongside Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society for elementary- intermediate primary age students. It will take place May 27th through Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)‘s Wild Voices online series! Join us to learn about native and invasive species in BC’s Wetlands and Beyond🐸🐢 REGISTER HERE! More details below.

From Here & Away; Exploring the Differences Between Native & Invasive Species in BC’s Wetlands and Beyond!This webinar will focus on the differences between native and invasive species in wetlands and beyond. An introduction to the impacts and characteristics of invasive species will be followed by a lesson on why the American bullfrog and yellow flag iris are unwelcome guests in our wetlands.After the lesson and discussion, students will be given activities that will turn them into Citizen Scientists while exploring the great outdoors . Activities include a backyard biodiversity scavenger hunt, creating a nature journal and using technology to identify and report invasive species

Webinar Details

Date: Thursday May 27, 2020
Time: 10 am Pacific Time
Presenters: Laurie Frankcom from CKISS and Kim Kaiser from CSISS
Recommended Grade Level: Primary and Intermediate Elementary

Register here!

Aquatic Program Updates

Watercraft Inspection stations (run by the Conservation Officer Service) should be up and running by mid-May, inspecting and potentially decontaminating watercraft coming into BC to prevent the spread of invasive mussels and other aquatic invasives.  More information on their program website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/invasive-mussels/bc-watercraft-inspection-stations

The CSISS invasive mussel monitoring program will again be sampling lakes across the region for zebra or quagga mussels to facilitate early detection – thanks to Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and Shuswap Watershed Council for their ongoing support.  All steps will be taken to ensure staff safety including physical distancing during activities.

Please report any suspected invasive mussels to the RAPP line on 1-877-952-7277. If you’re bringing your boat from out-of-province, contact the Provincial Program at COS.Aquatic.Invasive.Species@gov.bc.ca to determine if your boat is HIGH-RISK and should be decontaminated for possible zebra or quagga mussel presence before accessing B.C.’s lakes and rivers. It’s free! Do not launch the boat into any B.C. waters until you have received instruction from a B.C. Provincial Aquatic Invasive Species Inspector. 

CSISS will be a guest speaker for the Canadian Council on Invasive Species’s webinar series for National Invasive Species Awareness Week!Reducing the Spread of Invasive Species Through Play Clean Go
THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020   10-11  am PT

Learn how CCIS and partners are encouraging outdoor recreation and protecting valuable natural resources in parks, along trails and other spots by preventing the spread of invasive species.

Register for Play Clean Go webinar here

Updates from the Local Dyers’ Palette Project in Golden!

  • They  have finished all the actual dyeing, creating metres and metres of dyed yarn samples and shades of pink, green, yellow and brown, all delicate and soft and just lovely.
  • They collaborated on the text and have created a primer booklet for dyers of wool that we are proud of.  Each booklet is 8.5″ X 5.5″ (half of a regular size of paper) and printed on heavy weight (card stock). 

The booklet will be ready very, very soon and they are ready to take orders.  The exact price will be dependent on the number of copies we print but it is looking at less than $12 each.  
Please go to this link  and leave your name and email and they will order accordingly.

CSISS has a new YouTube channel!
We will be posting plant ID videos, training for industry groups, invasive species art and clips from the field.
Terrestrial Field Program Updates

The CSISS Terrestrial Field Program is back in action. Training for municipal, regional and federal staff are being provided through an online format. DO NOT MOW signs for knotweed are being installed along roadways throughout the region and invasive plant inventories, treatments and monitoring are beginning late May/ early June.

The program is being adjusted to ensure the safety of staff and contractors is maintained.

Invasive Plant ID and Edible Weeds Workshop June 24th

This course will delve into invasive plant identification and will also explore the edible and medicinal properties of weeds. What makes a plant “invasive”, how do we control them, how can we reduce their impacts, and what can we do to benefit from the plant? Come join the team from the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society to find out!
On Wednesday, June 24th at 1:30 pm Okanagan College will be hosting a one hour online workshop with CSISS to explore the topic of invasive plants, with a special focus on their edible properties. The goal is to prevent spreading of these species, while harvesting their beneficial properties and reducing waste.

There will also be identification guides and recipes to share!
Register HERE

See 20+ Edible Weeds in Your Garden (with recipes)

CSISS is grateful for the support of many partners and funders:
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Copyright © 2020 Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, All rights reserved.
We send this newsletter to all CSISS contacts, please let us know if you would not like to be on our contact list.Our mailing address is:
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
P.O. Box 2853
Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0
Canada

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