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Concerned groups are getting together to help prevent invasive mussels getting into our lakes and rivers.  The public are invited to attend a special event held at the Finlayson Road boat launch, beneath the No 1 Highway in Sicamous on the 26th of June, between 4pm and 6pm. (See Facebook event details here:

Our lakes and rivers are an invaluable recreation and tourism asset in the Shuswap region and bring millions of dollars to our region annually. However, we cannot take our waterways for granted. Invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels are one of the biggest threats to BC’s waterways; left unchallenged, they would clog water pipes and intakes, foul docks, boats and other infrastructure, and ruin beaches with their sharp shells, costing millions of dollars, harming recreational and economic opportunities for local businesses and damaging the environment.

Fortunately, this threat is preventable.  Ensuring that mussel-fouled boats are never launched into our pristine lakes is key to preventing mussel infestations. The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), Shuswap Watershed Council, and Invasive Species Council of BC have created an event to bring all interested parties together to discuss the threat and come up with the best possible options for countering it.

“This is an opportunity to collect together those who have a vested interest in keeping the region free of mussels – that is, all of us – and coming up with the best options for preventing musses from ever getting to these waters,” said Sue Davies, Aquatic Invasives Coordinator for the CSISS.  “Keeping the lakes and rivers pristine is in all our interests, and we want input from politicians, business owners, boaters, and the public.  We also want as many people to know about this issue as possible; the more knowledgeable local people means less chance of a mussel-fouled boat accidentally being launched into a lake”, she said.

MP Mel Arnold is confirmed to speak at the event, as are Provincial Ministry staff, and representatives from the other groups involved.  There will also be a flip-chart session for input to the discussion from businesses and the general public.

How can you help prevent mussels getting to BC?

For several years the province has had a ring of watercraft inspection stations near border crossings From BC’s southern and eastern boarders. It is mandatory for all watercraft including powerboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and anything in between to stop at Provincial Mussel Defense Inspection Stations.

The inspection stations are now open for the 2018 season and inspectors will be checking boats and preforming decontaminations where necessary to make sure no one is unwittingly carrying these unwanted hitchhikers. If you are lucky, you might get to meet Kilo- BC’s mussel sniffing canine!

Inspection stations have been successful at preventing mussels from entering BC. With an 81% average compliance rate for the 2017 season, it is clear that the majority of people are aware of the requirement to stop. Failure to stop at highway inspection stations is an offence and inspectors monitor the highway for those not stopping.  If a vehicle with a watercraft fails to stop at the inspection station, Conservation Officers are notified and they pursue the vehicle, applying a hefty fine to non-compliant owners.

If your boat has been outside BC and you have not had your boat inspected please call 1 877 952 7277 before you launch!

When traveling between water bodies within BC, please be sure to “Clean, Drain and Dry” your watercraft.  CLEAN off all plants, mud and any attached material from your watercraft and trailer, DRAIN all water compartments and engine coolant systems onto dry land, and DRY all areas before moving your watercraft to another body of water.  For more information visit CSISS resources for boaters at

[Image 2] Mussel ID_Photo Credit_ BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations                                           [Image 4] Mussel Boat_Photo Credit_Calgary Herald

Image Left: Native mussels versus invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Photo credit: Province of BC).

Image Right: A boat motor infested with mussels. (Photo Credit: Calgary Herald).

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 Shuswap Watershed Council, Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Province of British Columbia.

In this Edition:

  • How to avoid accidentally spreading invasive species
  • Spring Invasive Plant ID workshops
  • May is Invasive Species Action Month!
  • Help defend against Zebra and Quagga mussels
  • New Invasives Trail Signs and Boot Brushes
  • Pesticide Applicator Training
  • Firewood and recreation survey – cash prizes!

Spring has sprung and with it invasive plants and animals will be trying to hitch a ride.

Invasive plants and animals can create havoc when they spread to new locations, causing untold damage to environment, the economy, and even impacting people’s health.  Be part of the solution and make sure your watercraft, garden plants, boots, gear, bikes, pets, and firewood are invasive-free before you move them.

CSISS will be working to prevent the spread of invasives through targeting the most likely ways of accidental spread.  We will be visiting all marinas, garden centres, and pet shops in the region with specific information about avoiding the spread of invasives.  Look out for “Grow Me Instead” information at garden centres, “Clean Drain Dry” information at marinas and “Don’t Let It Loose” information at pet stores.

Spring Invasive Plant ID and Management Workshops

Want to Know how to identify and manage invasives?  attend one of our regional spring workshops!

These workshops cover identification of key invasive plants in your area and best management practices to prevent the spread of invasive species.  Workshops are applicable to industry, forestry, First Nations, municipal and regional staff, stewardship groups, and other interested individuals.

NEW THIS YEAR, we will be hosting a beginner workshop (if you have never taken a course with CSISS and are new to plant ID) and an advanced (if you have previously taken this course and would like a refresher).  BEGINNERS WORKSHOP ATTENDEES ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE ADVANCED WORKSHOP.



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.

Our spring Invasives Plant ID and Management workshops are scheduled for May, see below.

We will also be organizing weed pull events in May.  Be sure to like us on Facebookto receive updates on these and other events.


Boating season is almost upon us.  If you have taken your boat outside BC, please stop at one of the Provincial Inspection Stations (map above) to ensure that you do not have any Zebra or Quagga mussels hitching a ride on your craft or gear.Stopping is mandatory and free.  Staff will either ask you about where your watercraft has been, request your passport of previous inspection, or inspect or decontaminate your boat.  You might even get inspected by Kilo, BC’s very own mussel sniffer dog!

New trail signs being installed this spring

CSISS has partnered with community groups, municipalities and the CSRD to install new invasive species signs and boot brushes at trail heads throughout the region this spring.Look for the signs and use the attached brushes to remove mud and seeds from your boots, bikes or gear.  Find more information here. 

Pesticide Applicator Certification Training

The ISCBC is offering an Industrial Vegetation and Noxious Weed Pesticide Applicators Certification – participants will receive the necessary information to successfully obtain their pesticide applicators certificate and properly and safely manage weeds on industrial land, roads, power lines, railways and pipeline right-of-ways including control of weeds designated as noxious on private or public land. Course schedule:
May 7th – 9th – Kamloops


Firewood and Outdoor Recreation Short SurveyComplete a 10-minute survey and you will have a chance to win one of three prizes worth $250 dollars!
Do you use firewood? Do you like to hunt, camp, fish, hike or participate in any other outdoor recreation activities? If so, we want to hear from you!
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species, a national non-profit organization, is currently seeking information from across Canada about how Canadians participate in outdoor recreation and firewood activities and how those activities relate to our environment. The Council works collaboratively across boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species. The information you provide will greatly assist in developing future education programs in helping Canadians reduce the spread of invasive species and protect our environment.  Your survey results are anonymous! If you choose to participate in the draw for $250, you will hear in April – just in time for the summer season!
To complete the survey, click HERE.
Thank you – to find out more about the Canadian Council on Invasive Species, go to
Sign up to become a CSISS member to receive regular updates and workshop invitations.

CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

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 2018 field season (May-August terms):


1) The Education and Outreach Officer is an exciting full-time, 4 month work opportunity for candidates with experience in invasive species and outreach programming and delivery. The Education Officer assists the CSISS Outreach Coordinator with the CSISS outreach program, including delivery of Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, Don’t Let It Loose, and PlantWise outreach programs with extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. This position also has potential GetYouthWorking funding eligibility. Download full job posting here for application requirements: CSISS Education Officer 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 Outreach/Aquatic Program Coordinator with outreach and aquatic programs (e.g. information booths, zebra/quagga veliger sampling) OR Field Operations Program Coordinator with field programs (e.g. surveying invasive plants, mechanical treatments of high priority plants). 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 for application requirements: CSISS Invasive Spp Program Asst Job Posting


Job Locations: Work-sites are within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Staff will meet and work out of the CSISS Head Office in Revelstoke.

After reviewing detailed job postings above with application requirements, please send all CVs and cover letters to: 

Only successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in April. 



You’re Invited: CSISS Annual Land Manager Meeting March 15, 2018

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM CSRD Board Room, CSRD Office, 555 Harbourfront Drive NE, Salmon Arm, BC. To register, please RSVP to:

OR Provide written feedback for priority list changes by March 5th to

Prior the meeting, please review2018 CSISS Annual Land Managers Meeting Draft Agenda

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.




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 26 water bodies across the region for the presence of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels (total of 51 samples collected).

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


unnamed (2)

  • 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

Press release 13

2. Be PlantWise

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

PW mobile phone circle graphic

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: