Blog Archives




Happy New Year from CSISS!


CSISS had a very successful 2017 thanks to our dedicated staff, volunteers and funders who all contributed to the important work completed this year.  A sincere thank you for your support and we look forward to keeping you up to date with invasive species issues in the region over the year to come.

Columbia Shuswap region free of Zebra and Quagga mussels for another year!

unnamed (1)Throughout the 2017 summer season CSISS staff sampled 12 water bodies across the region for the presence of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels.

We are happy to report that all our samples tested negative for these very invasive organisms.  Similar testing has been carried out across the province and so far there is no evidence for the mussels in BC.

Next summer the province will be continuing with it’s watercraft inspection stations along borders of the province.  Be sure to stop at these inspection stations when entering BC if you have any sort of watercraft or water toy on board, including smaller craft such as canoes, SUPs, kayaks or inflatable boats.

Remember, Clean, Drain and Dry your watercraft and water toys when moving from one water body to another to help prevent the spread of invasive species.


Highlights of 2017


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  • CSISS attended 184 events, spoke with over 4,600 people and was mentioned in 42 news articles across the region.CSISS worked with more than 220 partner organizations, 44 of whom were new in 2017.
  • CSISS targeted outreach to groups such as realtors, city planners, garden centres and florists, marinas, and pet stores that will have a high impact in the reduction of invasive species spread.
  • CSISS presented to 27 youth events about the ways to reduce the spread of invasives in our region.
  • CSISS completed 12 weed pulls in partnership with community groups, removing around 38

Field Operations and Aquatics

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  • CSISS educates regional stakeholders and landowners on invasive plants found on their property. Many private landowners and most public stakeholders are now treating their knotweed in the CSRD region.CSISS completed two releases of biological agents effective in the control of purple loosestrife.
  • CSISS collected 51 plankton samples from 26 locations on 12 water bodies testing for invasive mussels.  No mussels were found in the region.
  • CSISS completed 493 invasive plant surveys, including 100 new site surveys. CSISS completed mechanical treatments at 43 locations, treating a total of 0.35 hectares.
  • CSISS herbicide contractors treated 29 sites

!! NEW !!

Top 14 poster Page 2 Very SmallTop 14 poster Page 1 Very Small

Top Invasives of the Columbia Shuswap poster.

Check out our new Top Invasives of the Columbia Shuswap poster.

It shows our region’s top priority plants, their identifying characteristics and treatment options all in a handy double-sided full colour poster.

Download the full size pdf here.





unnamed (1)Video Competition results

In 2017, the ISCBC ran a video competition.  CSISS’s summer student Braden Lamareux entered the competition and was placed runner up!  Watch his video and the that of the winner here.


Want to know more about what we do?  Check out the CSISS 2017 Annual Report


Save these dates for 2018…


unnamed (6)Have a safe, happy and invasive-free New Year from all of us at CSISS!


2017_05_20 Timber Days Outreach Booth RevelstokeWith a busy year behind us, our 2017 Annual Report is a great way to wrap up the season and let various stakeholders and members of the public see what progress is being made toward reducing the spread and impact of invasives species in the Columbia Shuswap region.

View the CSISS 2017 Annual Report.




Although we see a lot of wildlife in BC, not every species is native to the province. Many were brought here from other parts of the world, either on purpose or by accident.  Some of these introduced animals are also invasive and cause harm to the environment, the economy or are just plain troublesome to live with.

Both the black rat or ship rat (Rattus rattus) and the Norway rat or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) arrived in BC by accident, most likely as stowaways on cargo ships.  The Norway rat tends to outcompete the black rat in temperate zones but both species can carry diseases and cause general problems if present in urban settings.

Rats can be very destructive, contaminating food stores, chewing wiring and decimating ground nesting birds, especially in island ecosystems where predators are often rare.  “I’ve seen rats eat eggs and kill fledging chicks of ground nesting sea birds” said Sue Davies of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, “they can totally decimate bird populations that have evolved in places without naturally occurring ground predators,” she said.

Rats tend to go where there is available food, water and shelter.  The best way to exclude rats from your property is to ensure all potential rat food (including birdfeed and animal food) is stored in rat proof containers.  Clean bird feeders daily and only add a small amount of bird feed at a time.  Smelly compost may also attract rats, see for information on keeping your compost odour free and less attractive to rats.

Fixing water leaks and removing open water bowls can reduce the chances of rats taking up residence at your property, as can sealing or barricading easy access points to all indoor locations.  Fall is the season when many rodents begin nesting for the winter; take the above steps to ensure that you are not inviting invasive rats into your home!  See the fact sheet on our website ( for more in-depth information about dealing with rat infestations.

Invasive species are of concern across Canada, and humans can play a large role in preventing their spread.


Invasive Rat Factsheet- California

 BC Government Rodent Information




September 14th, 12pm-2pm, including Bullfrog guest speaker. Location of AGM: Revelstoke Library Meeting Room, 605 Campbell Road, Revelstoke. To register for our AGM, please email: We are looking for Board Directors! If you’re interested or want to learn more, please email:


Bullfrog Alert and Monitoring:
CSISS will be doing some bullfrog baseline eDNA monitoring within the North Columbia this fall. Currently there are no known populations within the CSRD. Learn more about bullfrogs on our website. If you see or hear signs of a bullfrog, please report to Frogwatch BC or if it’s within the Columbia Shuswap please send us a report online.


PLAY CLEAN GO on the trails!

CSISS is excited to be partnering with regional recreational groups, Rec Sites and Trails, industry representatives and others to promote Play Clean Go on the trails and at trail events. Watch for new signage and boot/bike brushes going up at trailheads near you! Set up a cleaning station at trails events to keep our trails invasives-free, contact us to learn more.

Whether walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV, it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally move invasive species from place to place. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

1. Come clean

Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.

2. Stay on designated trails

Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.

3. Leave clean

Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Deadline approaching!

BC Invasives Short Video Contest deadline is August 31st!


A Successful Workshop!

July 27th 2017

Participants helped demonstrate how to take levels as part of designing a wetland system.

Participants helped demonstrate how to take levels as part of designing a wetland system.

Wetland Restoration and Invasive Species Workshop:

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society hosted a one day free wetland restoration and invasive species workshop with the BC Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Columbia Mountains Institute. The workshop dovetailed the Columbia Mountain’s Institute Wetland Plant ID course. This workshop provided an overview of steps involved in restoring a wetland, including site selection, design considerations, and permitting requirements.The presentation also shared examples of wetland restoration in the context of managing invasive species, some of the successes and some of the challenges in BC. Following morning presentations, the participants travelled to a site to receive hands-on training in wetland restoration design.

Learning the planning process for wetland restoration

Learning the planning process for wetland restoration










BioBlitz 150 was held on 5th and 6th of August at Mt MacPherson’s Beaver Lake.  The BioBlitz cataloged species of plants and animals across the country with teams of experts and interested citizens.  The Revelstoke team (including the CSISS staff) blitzed the biology of this unique area.

North Columbia Environmental Society is coordinating the BioBlitz 150 event
North Columbia Environmental Society coordinated the BioBlitz 150 event

Thank you to our volunteers and community

A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers that came out for

1) White Lake Yellow Flag Iris community weed pull

2) Gardom Lake Yellow Flag Iris community weed pull

3) RBC Day of Service and Selkirk Saddle Club Himalayan Balsam community weed pulls in Revelstoke

4) RBC Day of Service Yellow Flag Iris at Turner Creek weed pull

5) Martha Creek Beach community weed pull

6) Wildsight Golden’s weed pulls

7) Attending our many outreach events, like the Invasive & Natural Plant Walk hosted by North Columbia Environmental Society!


To view our latest newsletter click here.  To sign up for the newsletter of CSISS membership follow this link

Members of RBC Revelstoke helped pull Himalayan Balsam

Members of RBC Revelstoke helped pull Himalayan Balsam

Happy to have removed Himalayan Balsam from near the Selkirk Saddle Club grounds!

Happy to have removed Himalayan Balsam from near the Selkirk Saddle Club grounds!

The RBC team from Salmon Arm removed masses of yellow flag iris from Turner creek

The RBC team from Salmon Arm removed masses of yellow flag iris from Turner creek



It’s time for ACTION! May has been officially proclaimed Invasive Species Action Month in BC. Join CSISS for a number of free events listed below.

Be on the look-out for our Invasive themed weeks on Facebook.


Week 1: Invasive Animals: Don’t Let It Loose! - why you should care, what are the key problem invasive animals, including a focus on the pet trade and learn what you can do

Week 2: Invasive Plants: PlantWise, Grow Me Instead - why you should care, what are key problem invasive plants, and learn what you can do, including both an agriculture and horticulture focus

Week 3: Outdoor Recreation: Play Clean Go - why recreation is a concern, key species of concern, activities that spread invasive species, and learn what you can do

Week 4: Aquatics: Clean Drain Dry - why freshwater and marine environments are of concern, key species (both plants and animals) of concern, and learn what you can do

Beginning May 1st, we will be showcasing an invasive species of the day on social media! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to learn how to identify, report and manage these alien invaders.Find us on Facebook!
To learn more about Invasive Species Action Month visit:
FREE WORKSHOP!July 27th 2017
Wetland Restoration and Invasive Species Workshop (REGISTER NOW):


The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is hosting a one day free wetland restoration and invasive species workshop with the BC Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Columbia Mountains Institute. The workshop date is July 27th, 2017 in Revelstoke BC and will dovetail with the Columbia Mountain’s Institute Wetland Plant ID course. This workshop will provide an overview of steps involved in restoring a wetland, including site selection, design considerations, and permitting requirements.The presentation will also share examples of wetland restoration in the context of managing invasive species, some of the successes and some of the challenges in BC. Following morning presentations, the participants will travel to a site to receive hands-on training in wetland restoration design. To register, email your name and your affiliation to: or call us on 1-855-785-9333.
For more info visit our website.

CSISS has some new staff members this year!
CSISS would like to give a warm welcome to Sue Davies, our new Aquatics and Outreach Program Coordinator. Contact Sue to organize presentations, workshops, and display booths at We would also like to welcome Emily Spiler, returning for her third year with CSISS as Outreach Officer; and two Canada Summer Jobs students, Braden Lamoureux and Katlin McCallum.   Continuing staff include Robyn Hooper, Executive Director and Laura Gaster, who has stepped into the role as Field Operations Program Coordinator. More info here about Our Team. Be on the look out this summer for our staff at events and in the field. Be sure to stop by and say hello! 
Raising awareness among youth is an important step to preventing the spread of invasives in the region.  CSISS can provide pro-d training, field trips, educational resources and activities that fit well in the prescribed BC Learning Objectives. Learn more on our Resources for Educators, or contact us at:
CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners, including Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Province of BC, and the Invasive Species Council of BC.For more information or to contact us, please visit:

Happy Earth Day! Our neighbours at the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society wrote this fantastic blog piece, so we thought we’d share (see original blog post at the CKISS website):

Earth Day started in the US on April 22, 1970 as an idea for a nation to focus on the environment. Today 192 countries and 1 billion people partake in Earth day events, a day of action that encourage change in human behavior in order to create a healthy and sustainable environment.

Make yourself part of the movement by preventing the spread of invasive species. Invasive species can out compete native species for resources and space drastically lower the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Humans are the #1 way invasive species spread by ‘hitchhiking’ onto watercraft, clothing, vehicles and even your pet! Simple actions listed below are a free and easy way to protect the native plants and animals found in your backyard.

1. Clean, Drain, Dry

  • Clean all plants, animals, or mud from watercraft & related equipment
  • Drain any water onto land
  • Dry all items completely

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2. Be PlantWise

  • Choose non-invasive plants for your garden
  • Remove invasives from your garden
  • Avoid wildflower seed mixes

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3. Dispose of garden waste properly

  • Do not dump garden waste in public parks, natural areas, and roadsides
  • All landfills within the CSRD accept invasive plant species for deep burial (fees). Ensure your material is bagged in clear plastic bags and notify the attendant that you have invasive plant species
  • NEVER compost invasive species
  • NEVER put invasive species into CSRD Yard Waste (Deep Burial at landfill instead)

4. Clean off ALL your recreation equipment….Play Clean Go

  • Remove mud & plant parts from gear, boots, pets & vehicles
  • Arrive at the trailhead and recreation site clean
  • Stay on trails



5. Report- A-Weed

  • Know and report the high priority species in your region
  • Download the free APP at:



The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society has updated the Priority Plant List for the Columbia Shuswap Region after consultation with land managers at our February 23rd meeting.

The updated Priority Plant List can be viewed here: CSISS Priority Plant List 2017

The updated CSISS Operational Plan can be viewed here: CSISS Operational Plan

Other CSISS reports and resources can be found here: CSISS Resources

CSISS is pleased to offer FREE Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshops.
This course covers everything from identification of key invasive plants in your area, to implementing best management practices in the field to prevent the spread of invasive species.To learn more and register e-mail:

May 2, 2017: Salmon Arm BC. 10am- 12pm. CSRD Office: 555 Harbour Front Dr NE
May 10, 2017: Revelstoke BC. 10am- 12pm OR 1pm- 3pm Revelstoke Community Centre
May 11, 2017: Sicamous BC. 10am- 12pm District of Sicamous Public Works at 1450 Solsqua Rd.
Late May TBD: Golden BC. Golden Arena Lounge.

Check out other CSISS spring and summer workshops and events at:

Photo credit: CSISS. Invasive Leafy Spurge is one of the top priority species in the Columbia Shuswap region.

Are you or someone you know interested in working for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society and preventing the spread of invasive species in the region?  Two job postings are available for the 2017 field season:


1) The Aquatic and Outreach Program Coordinator is an exciting full-time, 4 month work opportunity for candidates with experience in invasive species outreach programming, aquatic invasive species monitoring and natural resource management. The Aquatic and Outreach Program Coordinator leads the CSISS Aquatic Invasive Species field program, including conducting zebra quagga mussel veliger sampling. As well, the Coordinator leads the CSISS outreach program, including coordinating Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, Don’t Let It Loose, and PlantWise outreach programs with extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Download full job posting here: CSISS AIS and Outreach Program Coordinator Job Posting 


2) The Invasive Species Program Assistant is 4 month work term for qualified students in post-secondary programs, interested in communicating with the public and community groups about invasive species, and assisting the Aquatic and Field Operations Program Coordinators with field programs (e.g. surveying invasive plants, mechanical treatments of high priority plants, zebra/quagga veliger sampling). Applicants for this position should be energetic, physically fit, self-motivated and have excellent communication skills. This position is pending funding from Canada Summer Jobs Program. Download full job posting here: CSISS Invasive Species Program Asst Job Posting


Job Locations: Work-sites are within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Staff may choose to work out of the CSISS Head Office in Revelstoke, Salmon Arm satellite office, or may work out of a home-based office within the CSRD with bi-weekly meetings in Revelstoke.


Please send all CVs and cover letters to:




You’re Invited: CSISS Annual Land Manager Meeting February 23, 2017

12:30 PM – 3:30 PM McPherson Room, Revelstoke Community Centre, 600 Campbell Ave, Revelstoke, BC. Conference call available upon request.
OR Provide written feedback on proposed updates by February 15th to
Prior the meeting, please review: Agenda and Proposed Priority Ranking Updates.

To register, please RSVP to :

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is doing an annual review of their Priority Invasive Plant lists from the CSISS’ Invasive Plant Management Area (IPMA) Operational Plan. Your input is critical in ensuring the delivery of an effective, efficient, and coordinated invasive plant program in the Columbia Shuswap.

The goal of this meeting is to enable land managers to provide guidance and input on the Invasive Plant Management Area Operational Plan Lists. The meeting objectives are to 1) Share updates on invasive plant management activities of each organization; and 2) Revisit prioritization of invasive plant species and activities for treatments, inventories, monitoring and data management.



Another year has come and gone! Reflecting back on a successful 2016, we would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, supportive partners and generous funders helping CSISS complete our important work within the Columbia Shuswap Region.



CSISS continues to educate, engage and inspire action among residents of the Columbia Shuswap.  In 2016, CSISS successfully delivered Play Clean Go, Don’t Let it Loose, PlantWise and Clean Drain Dry programs across the region. CSISS attended over 154 community events, distributed 10 press releases, hosted several workshops and training events, supported 10 weed pulls and more!
In 2016, CSISS completed 986 invasive plant surveys at 278 new sites! Across the region, high priority species such as blueweed, rush skeleton weed and himalayan balsam were inventoried and Do Not Mow signage was installed for the high priority species knotweed.  Additionally, CSISS responded to 136 invasive species reports delivering helpful management information to landowners.
CSISS continued to expand its aquatics program. In total, CSISS staff and contractor Chris Harkness collected 35 Zebra Quagga Mussel veliger samples at 22 priority water bodies in the Columbia Shuswap.  Additionally, detailed aquatic and riparian plant surveys were completed at 9 locations.  No Zebra Quagga Mussel veligers or new aquatic invasive plants were found.
Want to learn more? Click here for our Annual Report
Job Posting!  
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking to hire an Assistant Environmental Coordinator to work with invasive species.  For more information, please visit:
Save the Date!
The Invasive Species Research Conference is being held June 20 – 22, 2017 at TRU and features renowned keynote speakers Dr. Daniel Simberloff and Dr. Anthony Ricciardi. Invasive species researchers and practitioners from across the Pacific Northwest are invited to attend and to submit scientific research abstracts for presentations at the Invasive Species Research Conference. For more information, please visit:
Stay up to date on the Zebra and Quagga Mussel Veliger infestation in Montana. Visit: for more information.
Upcoming Events:
February 8, 7 pm, Lady Grey Library, Golden. Conservation on private land in the Golden area. Juliet Craig, Kootenay Conservation Program
Feb 23, 2017: 12:30-3:30pm Land Manager Meeting. Annual updates to CSISS priority plant list. Revelstoke, BC. All land managers within or adjacent to CSISS region are invited, and written feedback submissions are also welcome. More details to follow.
Feb 28-March 2, 2017: National Invasive Species Forum, Ottawa, ON.
Spring 2017:  CSISS Regional Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshops to be offered in Revelstoke, Golden, Salmon Arm and Sicamous. Dates TBD.
June 20-22, 2017: Invasive Species Research Conference. Kamloops, BC.Book a spring/summer workshop or presentation by CSISS – contact us at info@columbiashuswapinvasives.orgBook a teacher professional development day to learn about how to teach about invasives. Lean more here.
Ordering plants for the spring? Already starting to plan your garden? Make sure it’s invasive free by checking

From all of us at the CSISS Team we wish you a happy, healthy and fun New Year.