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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:



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.

Spreading the Word About the Success of Collaboration

In May 2016, partners with the Canadian Columbia Basin Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Program presented at the 19th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species: Global Advances in Research and Management of AIS. This conference series is widely considered the most comprehensive international forum on aquatic invasive species and continues to evolve to address new and emerging issues. Sessions and presentations included the review of accumulated scientific knowledge; presentation of the latest field research; introduction of new technological developments for prevention, monitoring and control; discussion of policy and legislation; and mechanisms to raise awareness through education and outreach initiatives. Presentations from this conference can be viewed here.

Welcome to Our Newest Steering Committee Members

The Columbia Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Team is excited to welcome new members to the steering committee:

  • Thomas Boos, AIS Coordinator, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  • Justin Bush, Executive Coordinator, Washington Invasive Species Council
  • Jesse Schultz, Biologist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Michael Zimmer, Biologist, Okanagan Nation Alliance

These new members will greatly increase collaborative opportunities that improve our efforts at preventing and managing harmful aquatic invasive species. To learn more about our new partners, and the rest of the AIS Team, visit their websites on our Columbia Basin AIS Team page.

First Detection of a Devastating Fish Disease

A non-native parasite that burrows into the head and spine of salmonids, such as salmon and trout, has been detected for the first time ever in Canada. Whirling disease is caused by this non-native parasite, making salmonids vulnerable to predators. The parasite can spread from one water body to another through contaminated bait and fishing gear. BC residents are urged to take extra precautions following the discovery of the potentially fatal whirling disease. Remember to follow the Clean, Drain, Dry process on all watercraft and fishing gear before and after entering BC’s lakes and rivers. Read the full story here.

Invasive Mussels Keep Getting Closer to BC!

In October, destructive invasive mussels were detected for the first time in Montana. Montana’s wildlife agency confirmed that there is a positive hit for zebra or quagga mussels in a reservoir located in the eastern part of the state. This is a little too close for comfort for us here in B.C.! We are just one of a handful of provinces and states that are still zebra and quagga mussel free…and we want to keep it that way! Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff say they’ve been preparing for this possibility for some time. Read more here about how this threat is being addressed at: ( and  (

It’s Here – the new Clean Drain Dry Mobile App

It just keeps getting easier to do your part in protecting our waters from destructive aquatic invasive species! The new Clean Drain Dry (CDD) Mobile App uses unique campaign marketing materials and graphics to transport users to a video experience that informs and empowers positive actions to prevent the introduction and spread aquatic invasive species. Learn more here.

Protecting BC Waters from Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels

The Provincial Invasive Mussel Defense Program had eight watercraft inspection stations operating in BC this year, and that’s great news because 17 boats contaminated with invasive mussels were caught before they had a chance to enter BC’s pristine water bodies! Protecting BC waters from these destructive invasive mussels is serious business; 46 tickets were issued to motorists for failing to stop at a watercraft inspection station! See all of the numbers and more about aquatic invasive species here.