Monthly Archives: January 2021

 

Invasive Species Society Holds Partner Meeting with Provincial Government Presentation and Community Discussion

On January 20, 2021, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) held a partner meeting with 72 attendees, including local and provincial government representatives, non-profits, the regional district, Indigenous Peoples and other community members who are concerned about the recent discovery of invasive freshwater clams (Corbicula fluminea) in Shuswap Lake.

Last year a live population of Corbicula fluminea, an invasive freshwater clam (also known as golden, pygmy, or Asian clam), was found in the Salmon Arm reach of Shuswap Lake. There is potential for this species to spread throughout the waterbody and also to other nearby waterbodies. Invasive clams are small bivalve shellfish, originating in Asia. They are considered invasive due to their negative impacts on many North American waterways.  Invasive clams have been present in the lower mainland of BC since around 2008; the recent detection in Shuswap Lake indicates a jump in their distribution. In response to the recent discovery, CSISS, a local non-profit which works to prevent the spread of invasive species in the region, organized a meeting to facilitate discussion of next steps and to encourage innovative ideas for outreach.

Sue Davies, Aquatic Program Coordinator for the CSISS, presented on the extent surveys that were conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) and the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) last fall to assess current distribution in Shuswap Lake. The surveys found that current distribution is confined to the Salmon Arm reach of the Shuswap Lake.  Davies also discussed outreach methods to prevent the spread of this species into other waterbodies such as encouraging boaters to Clean, Drain and Dry watercraft when moving between water bodies, and the importance of stopping at watercraft inspection stations when traveling.

Cassandra Silverio, Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist with ENV, discussed potential impacts, pathways of introduction, a summary of control methods used in other jurisdictions, as well as next steps for Shuswap Lake. She indicated the important differences between invasive clams and invasive mussels.  Invasive zebra and quagga mussels (not currently known in BC) pose a greater risk to BC’s freshwater ecosystems and economy due to their ability to attach to solid surfaces including native freshwater mussels, infrastructure and watercraft. ENV will continue extent surveys in Shuswap Lake for invasive clams into 2021, assess potential control options, and continue collaboration with partners on education and outreach. Silverio also noted that ENV is currently working with the University of Victoria to develop specific eDNA testing technology for invasive clams.

James Littley with the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) presented an Okanagan perspective of invasive clams, invasive mussels, and BC’s level of preparedness to address the challenges of new aquatic invasive species. The OBWB see this clam discovery as a “Dress Rehearsal” for the potential discovery of invasive mussels and wants to ensure that everything is being done to prepare.

Martina Beck, (ENV) emphasized that a thorough understanding of extent, risk and potential impacts is first needed to assess the effectiveness and feasibility of potential control options. The Government of BC is currently updating the provincial risk assessment for invasive clams to include changes in distribution and the latest research and findings from other jurisdictions. After consulting with other jurisdictions about their experience with invasive clams, two things are apparent 1) the impacts from invasive clams vary significantly depending on site specific conditions and 2) there are relatively few effective control options.

The CSISS and other community partners, including the Shuswap Watershed Council, will continue to support invasive clam and other invasive species outreach, monitoring and management work in the region. Innovative and collaborative methods for outreach will be needed to prevent the further spread of invasive clams, and CSISS anticipates increased outreach and education in 2021.

Members of the public are asked to please report any suspected invasive species including clams via the Provincial “Report Invasives BC” smartphone application.  Please report suspected invasive zebra or quagga mussels to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline 1-877-952-7277.

An invasive clam fact sheet is available here.  Travellers bringing watercraft to BC are encouraged to visit the provincial website.

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 Regional District. CSISS is thankful for the generous support of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Shuswap Watershed Council, Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

 
CSISS January Updates

Including 2020 Columbia Shuswap Invasive Mussel Monitoring Results

Upcoming meetings (more details below):
January 20th – Shuswap Invasive Clam Meeting
March 9th – CSISS Land Manager Meeting – Save the date!

Invasive Mussel Monitoring Results
In 2020, CSISS sampled for invasive zebra and quagga mussels across the Columbia Shuswap Region with support from the Province, and funding support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Shuswap Watershed Council. Survey results:

  • 12 water-bodies,
  • 22 locations,
  • 148 plankton samples, &
  • 0 Invasive mussels! 

There are no known infestations of invasive mussels in BC. Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/invasive-mussels/early-detection-lake-monitoring for BC updates.

You’re Invited!

Shuswap Invasive Freshwater Clam Meeting

Sampling for invasive clams took place this summer in the Shuswap watershed.  A new infestation of invasive freshwater clams (Corbicula fluminea) was found in the Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake.
You’re invited to a Shuswap Invasive Clam meeting on 
January 20th 3pm – 4:30pm PST via Zoom:
Online Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/96627799276
Phone in option (if zoom not possible): +1 778 907 2071 Canada ; Meeting ID: 966 2779 9276

We invite you to attend this meeting and to share this invite with those you think may also have an interest.  To mitigate the impacts of this new species, we all need to understand this new infestation and the best ways to prevent this species from spreading to other waterways in our region. 

The meeting will take approximately 1.5 hours, and will feature a presentation from Ministry for Environment and Climate Change Strategy detailing current findings and potential next steps going forward.  There will also be an open floor session for questions and discussion. For more information email: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Find Out More
Annual Land Manager Meeting: CSISS is completing its annual review of the Columbia Shuswap priority invasive species list and watchlists from the 2020-2025 Columbia Shuswap Operational Plan for Invasive Species. This meeting will be hosted online on March 9th (10am-1pm approximately), more details forthcoming. We invite all partners to provide input on regional invasive plant and animal priority lists. We also encourage any interested individuals to join in and learn more about invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap!

Stay tuned for more details in our next newsletter.

Check out the work we completed at Blanket Creek Provincial Park last fall! 
 

On January 20th 2021, CSISS will be hosting an Invasive Clam Stakeholder Meeting to share information regarding the recent discovery of Corbicula fluminea (also known as Asian or Golden clams) in Shuswap Lake. A live population of Corbicula fluminea, a freshwater invasive clam, was found in the Shuswap Lake in August 2020. Extent surveys were completed in September and October 2020. There is potential for this species to spread throughout the waterbody and also to other nearby waterbodies. This meeting is to inform all stakeholders about the situation so far and to encourage discussion around any potential response, including the education and outreach response required.

Invasive Clam Stakeholder Meeting Agenda

Meeting Details:
Online Zoom meeting link (See agenda for meeting link: Download the meeting agenda here)
Phone in option (if zoom not possible): +1 778 907 2071 Canada ; Meeting ID: 966 2779 9276
Date: January 20, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm PST (1.5 Hours)
Meeting Facilitator: Robyn Hooper, Executive Director, CSISS
Meeting Scribe: Sue Davies, AIS Coordinator, CSISS

Agenda:
3:00-3:15pm Welcome & Acknowledgement of indigenous lands – Robyn Hooper, CSISS

•   Roundtable quiz – who’s here, affiliation, what’s your interest? (zoom poll)
•   Overview of intended outcomes – Robyn Hooper, CSISS

3:15-3:30pm CSISS Aquatics Program and invasive clam survey extent findings – Sue Davies, CSISS

3:30-3:50pm Brief biology invasive clams (C. Fluminea.), Provincial response to invasive clams and discuss
potential next steps – Martina Beck / Cassandra Silverio, ENV
3:50-3:55pm Okanagan Basin Water Board perspective – James Littley, OBWB
3:55-4:25pm Questions and Open forum with guiding questions:

•   How can we prevent invasive clam spread in the Shuswap and the Okanagan?

o   Clean Drain Dry programs, marina and boat industry outreach, boat-ramp outreach, other ?
o   What other outreach activities / target audiences could we reach out to?

•   Who else can be involved/support this work?

•   What other resources and/or funding is needed and could be sourced or encouraged?

4:25-4:30pm Final Comments and Closing – Robyn Hooper, CSISS

Overview and Purpose: A live population of Corbicula fluminea, a freshwater invasive clam (also known as Asianor Golden clams) was found in the Shuswap Lake in August 2020. Extent surveys were completed in September and October 2020. There is potential for this species to spread throughout the waterbody and also to other nearby waterbodies. This meeting is to inform all stakeholders about the situation so far and to encourage discussion around any potential response, including the education and outreach response required.

The meeting objectives are to:
1) Inform stakeholders of the biology, impacts and scale of the infestation
2) Discuss potential next steps for control or mitigation of impacts
3) Discuss potential education and outreach measures to prevent spread.

Your input is critical in ensuring the delivery of an effective, efficient, and coordinated invasive species program in the Columbia Shuswap. We appreciate your feedback as key partners in helping with this process. For more information, please contact CSISS at: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Download the meeting agenda here