Blog Archives


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 For more information on zebra and quagga mussels, visit CSISS’s website at w

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.


Looking for ways to fill your days? Gardening is a great way to get outdoors.

Many of us are currently marooned at home and looking for ways to occupy our time. While we patiently wait for the snow to melt, it’s a great time to get a head start on your garden.

Learn to Identify plants!

While we won’t be able to offer our spring Invasive Plant ID and Management Workshops in person this May, you can find useful resources to help you learn to identify and manage invasive plants through our website We hope to be able to offer invasive plant ID workshops later in the year or through an online format. You can also learn about choosing native and non-invasive plants for your garden through the provincial PlantWise program and free . If you are interested in gardening using native plants, check out the Habitat Acquisition Trust’s Native Gardening page here.

Did you know?

Surprisingly, it is still not illegal to import, purchase or sell invasive plants in BC. For this reason, we work closely with garden centers and plant nurseries in the region to help ensure they are not accidentally providing invasive plants or seeds for sale. We are thrilled that most plant nurseries and garden centers are helping to protect native biodiversity by doing their best to provide only non-invasive plants for purchase. Support your local garden center by only asking for non-invasive varieties of plants.  Get the PlantWise app to learn if your choice of plant is invasive or not!

Get a head start on planting in doors

To comply with social distancing, many plant nurseries and garden centers in the region have likely closed their store fronts, but may instead be offering online and phone orders, curbside pick-up and delivery options. Check with your local nursery to see what options they might have available.  Start vegetable seeds at home to grow in your garden this year.  Vegetable plants are not invasive!

Discover what’s in your backyard

As snow melts and plants begin to spring up, be on the look out for potential invaders and get started on weeding in your yard early this season! Check our website for tips on how to manage and dispose of invasive plants from your property. Invasive plant disposal is free at CSRD landfills and transfer stations – just let the attendant know and ensure plants are bagged.

Go for a plant ID walk

No yard? No problem, go for a solo walk and take note of the plants you see in your neighborhood. As shoots emerge from hiding and flowers flourish, you can use the Report an Invasive App  on your phone to help identify and report invasive plants that you come across.

Ask an expert!

If you are having trouble identifying a species or need advice on how to best manage a pesky plant, we are here to help you manage invasive plants on your property. Contact us at info@columbiashuswapinvasives or follow us on Instagram and facebook @ColumbiaShuswapInvasives


CSISS has recently completed a risk assessment for the invasive American Bullfrog.   Bullfrogs are not currently known in the Columbia Shuswap region, but populations exist in Creston, the Lower Mainland, and on Vancouver island.  The assessment looks at the the most likely pathways of introduction of this highly invasive species, the best preventative measures to take, and the potential risks and costs if such an introduction were to occur.

See the full assessment here


EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY with Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society:

Job Title: Invasive Species Program Assistant

Job Reference: #001

Location: Revelstoke, Columbia-Shuswap. Worksites within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Main office in Revelstoke, BC but travel required for position throughout the CSRD.

Closing Date: March 4, 2020

Employment Duration: 4-month (May-August), 30-35hrs/week,

Wage: $18/hour (pending funding)

Application Details: CSISS Job Posting #001 – 2020 as PDF file.


Please include the following items in your application package (one PDF document combined 1, 2 and 3):

  1. Cover letter clearly stating:
  1. Resume, including two references (phone numbers)
  1. Driver’s abstract with 3 years clean driving record and claims history (Link for ICBC: )

Please submit your application package no later than March 4th, 2020 to:

Robyn Hooper, Executive Director, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

Email to:


Under the direct supervision and guidance of the CSISS Executive Director and Program Coordinators, the Program Assistant will be responsible for carrying out various functions of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society’s programs, as described in job duties below.  The base of operation will be out of Revelstoke, but there will be extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Regular team meetings will occur weekly in Revelstoke, BC. Work hours will be full-time throughout the length of the term, but hours may fluctuate daily with weather and project demands. Work schedule likely to be Tuesday-Saturday.

Important Information:

  • Only candidates considered for positions will be contacted for an interview.
  • All candidates selected for an interview must be available for one-hour phone or in-person interview between March 16- March 30, 2020.
  • Successful candidates for Job Reference 001 will be contacted in April (pending funding) and must be available to start May 11th, 2020.

 Please send any questions to


  • Work with Executive Director, Program Coordinators and other CSISS staff to deliver invasive species Outreach, Terrestrial, and Aquatic programs.
  • Help to deliver CSISS messaging through door to door, boat launch outreach, festivals and events, and school programs throughout the region, including the delivery of our main behavior change programs: Plant Wise, Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, and Don’t Let It Loose.
  • Help to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples, partners, and other stakeholders in the region to enhance collaboration on invasive species issues.
  • Assist with invasive species inventories (surveying plants / aquatic sampling) and InvasiveAlien Plant Program (IAPP) data
  • Mechanically treat small scale invasive plant infestations.
  • Track and report on successes of program.


The Program Assistant will be engaging with partners and the public on a daily basis and therefore needs to be energetic, positive, outgoing, charismatic and confident.  Successful candidates must be self-motivated, highly organized, responsible, and work well in a team.  All applicants must have completed Grade 12 or equivalent and preference to those who have or are completing a relevant post-secondary program.  All activities are physically demanding, and the position requires extensive driving throughout the region, therefore experienced driving skills are required.

Ideally, you will have a strong combination of the following skills:

  • Experience and ability to interact and effectively engage people while delivering public presentations, approaching the public with outreach materials and surveys, and engaging the public at information booths;
  • Confidence public speaking;
  • Experience working with youth and/or community groups;
  • Strong motivational skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Knowledge and interest in invasive species;
  • Ability to quickly acquire skills in conducting surveys and field work;
  • Enjoy working outdoors in variable field conditions;
  • Enjoy physically challenging work, such as weed pulling;
  • Comfortable working in remote settings;
  • Experience driving with long days and distances;
  • Experience working around water and watercraft, and;
  • Have or are working towards a certificate or degree;
  • Willingness to travel, and work weekends.

Additional Assets:

  • Experience interacting and presenting to a wide variety of audiences;
  • Knowledge of communication techniques used in interpretation (storytelling, theatre, music);
  • Training in communications, psychology, marketing, and/or natural sciences;
  • Social marketing and social media skills;
  • Experience with iPads, GIS Mapping software and Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Power Point;
  • Experience in data collection, organization and management; and
  • Experience with report writing.

Applicants MUST Possess:

  • Current Worksafe BC OFA Level 1 or equivalent First Aid certification; and
  • A valid BC driver’s license with 3 years Driving record and claims history

 Applicants must be eligible to participate in the 1. Eco Canada Student Work Placement Program and/or 2. Canada Summer Jobs Program (requirements listed below):

 Eco Canada Student Work Placement Program Requirements:

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • If you currently study at a university or college in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Math (STEAM) and Business, you qualify!
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

Students on a work permit or visa are not eligible.

 Canada Summer Jobs Program Requirements:

To be eligible, youth must:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

  About CSISS

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer members representing private & public agencies, clubs and organizations in the Columbia-Shuswap Region of British Columbia. Members of the society are dedicated to increasing awareness of invasive species and associated losses caused to the natural and domestic resources of our Region. The Society performs invasive species inventory, treatment programs, promotes best management practices, and coordinates invasive species action, education and awareness activities throughout the Columbia-Shuswap Region.



Another year has passed with no invasive mussels detected in the Columbia Shuswap! 2019 was a successful year for CSISS- Take a look at our newsletter below to see what we accomplished this past year.

Happy New Year!

2019 was a fantastic year for CSISS thanks to our dedicated board of directors, staff and volunteers. We extend out gratitude to our funders and supporters this past year!

Highlights from the past year
Access our full Annual Report here

Great News for Columbia Shuswap Watersheds: No invasive mussels detected in 2019!

Another year with no invasive mussels detected in any of the 12 water bodies tested!
Freshwater lakes and rivers are not only vital for recreation and tourism, but are also an integral part of the economy in our region.  Invasive mussels could cost millions every year in infrastructure maintenance if they were to enter BC waterways.
Protecting infrastructure and native ecosystems from the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species is a priority.  Please ensure that all watercraft entering BC are inspected for invasive species, and that you Clean Drain and Dry your watercraft when moving from one water body to another within BC.
Upcoming Events:

Jan 31st- Shuswap Trails Working Group Meeting
Feb 11th-13th- INVASIVES 2020- Invasive Species Council of BC Annual Forum
Would you like to organize a guest presentation from CSISS? Contact us at to book!

Thanks to our Funders!

Thanks to all of our 2019 funders including: Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, The Shuswap Watershed Council, the Province of BC, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Columbia Basin Trust for funding our aquatic sampling and outreach programs this year. Thank you to other regional and provincial groups for their in kind support, fee for service projects, and partnerships – in total there were 19 funders in 2019 and over 30 in-kind contributors!

If you are interested in contributing to CSISS for 2020, please contact our Executive Director Robyn Hooper to discuss sponsorships, donations, funding partnerships or other opportunities to collaborate at: or phone toll free 1-855-785-9333

Click here to donate now to CSISS 2020 Programs!

Find Out More About CSISS
Copyright © 2019 Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail as we value you as a stakeholder and partner in preventing the spread of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap region. This newsletter is meant to keep you informed of activities and events in our area that may be of interest to you.Our mailing address is:
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
P.O. Box 2853
Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0
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CSISS Autumn Updates

See newsletter view here:

Another successful field season for Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Programs!

Terrestrial and Aquatic field work is wrapped up for 2019
See highlights below:

Terrestrial Program

94 new invasive plant sites
1204 invasive plant surveys
52 mechanical treatment sites, covering 1118 m2
64 chemical treatment sites, 46 monitored sites
3 bioagent monitoring sites for: spotted knapweed, St. John’s wort, yellow toadflax

Aquatic Program

139 plankton samples from 9 water bodies for invasive mussel analysis
16 invasive mussel substrate samplers installed in 11 water bodies
Aquatic plants surveyed at 27 sites on 9 water bodies


Thank you to those of you who attended our AGM in Golden this year! The meeting minutes from the AGM can be found here. Thanks also to the guest speakers from Kootenay Conservation Program, Provincial Mussel Defence Program and Wildsight Golden, as well as the Town of Golden for hosting us.

Aquatic Outreach
Aquatic Outreach
CSISS partnered with ISCBC and other groups to install 32 new Clean Drain Dry signs at boat launches throughout the region!CSISS staff visited 29 Marinas and boat stores, held staff briefings at 9 marinas, visited 29 campgrounds, talked to 222 boaters at boat launches and attended many aquatic focused events over the summer season. 

CSISS has worked with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) for the past two years to prevent the spread of invasive mussels. HCTF contributes to the lake monitoring program and SWC contributes to both the monitoring and outreach programs.

Huge thanks to both organizations for making this important work possible.

CSISS and the Shuswap Watershed Council head to Montreal!
CSISS Executive Director Robyn Hooper, Chair Hamish Kassa, along with the Shuswap Watershed Council’s Erin Vierra attended the International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) in Montreal in late October.

CSISS and SWC presented on aquatic invasive species prevention in the Columbia Shuswap Region at the International Conference

The presentation focused on invasive mussel prevention through collaboration, advocacy, education and lake monitoring.

Find Out More about ICAIS conference
Did you know?
It’s free to dispose invasive plants at landfills and transfer stations in the Columbia Shuswap Region.

Leaves are falling and it’s garden clean up time!

Remember that invasive plants don’t go in the yard waste pile at the landfill. Please bag and bring them to the household garbage instead. It’s free!

Forest pests such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle are often moved through firewood and can destroy Canadian Forests and urban trees. 

Avoid transporting forest pests and Buy Local, Burn Local!

Outreach Program Updates
While CSISS is still busy attending events and conferences, here are some updates from the season so far:

CSISS attended 86 events and presentations, directly engaging with 3,456 people and reaching over 38,800 people.
Hosted 6 weed pulls with 70 volunteers
Presented at 20 youth events, engaging with 1,194 youth

Upcoming events:

Nov 13th- Shuswap Water Quality Monitoring Group Meeting
Nov 20th- Annual Shuswap Trails Round-Table Meeting
Nov 20th- Canadian Weed Science Conference
Nov 27th- Revelstoke Secondary School Climate Expo

CSISS is grateful for the support of many contributors and funders

CSISS staff sampled 11 water bodies across the region for invasive mussels in 2019.

Staff sampled for adult mussels by installing substrate samplers, which are collections of different substrates on ropes lowered into the water and checked every 2-4 weeks.  No sign of adult mussels were found on any of the 16 samplers deployed.


Staff also took 139 plankton samples from 27 locations on 9 water bodies, searching for the larval stages of the mussels (known as veligers).  These samples have been submitted to the laboratory for analysis throughout the year.  So far all analysed samples are mussel free!


Thanks are due to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), the Ministry of Environement & Climate Change Strategy (MoECCS), Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC), and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) for funding this project.  Also thanks to Dennis Eirarson (MoECCS) and Britt McLeod and Jenna Odynski (BC Parks) for helping with access to some of our sites. 



Come join us for the CSISS Annual General Meeting including Guest Speakers and new updates!

Date: October 17th, 12pm – 3:00pm MST (*3:30pm MST for Board Members)
Location:  1410 9th St. South (upstairs) Golden Arena Lounge, Golden
Topics: Roundtable updates from regional stakeholders; Guest Speakers (Wildsight Golden, BC Mussel Defense Conservation Officers, Kootenay Conservation Program); Presentation on UPDATED Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Operational Plan; CSISS end of season updates; and AGM including Board Election.
Lunch and refreshments included.
Register here!
Contact us at 1-855-785-9333 or with any questions.


Imagine you’ve been out working all day in your yard. Here in the beautiful Columbia-Shuswap region, it is not difficult for many to picture. You have done all your research to find information about invasive weeds online, and you feel confident in identifying what doesn’t belong. Once you have located those weeds, you carefully remove them. What happens to the weeds next? Many people will continue with proper disposal at the landfill, but what if there was another sustainable way to make use of those weeds?

Several weed species, some of which are classified as invasive due to their detrimental impacts on people, the environment, or the economy, are actually edible and often quite delicious.  Dishes range from delicious Himalayan blackberry tarts, to salads of chickweed, lambs quarter, and purslane (which is very high in omega-3). Some species, such as burdock, have been used historically to make tea, medicines, and even chips!   

Burdock Chip Recipe

Chips made from the root of Burdock plants are surprisingly easy to make if you understand how to harvest and prepare them. Burdock is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its lifecycle. During the first year the plant will grow only leaves and roots. It will then go dormant for the winter and finally produce flowers during the second year. Burdock roots are best dug out in the fall of their first year, before they have flowered and look similar to rhubarb. 

Once harvested, the Burdock root should be peeled and cut into thin slices. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and add your preferred amount of sea salt. While preparing the chips, preheat the oven to 450F. It should take 20 minutes, flipping halfway, until your delicious Burdock snack is perfectly crispy and ready for eating!

A word of caution: while these snacks are simple and free, there could be a great cost to the environment if they are not handled safely. Invasive weeds have the ability to rapidly spread by a variety of methods. For this reason, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society asks that you never compost the clippings or excess plant material, and be careful to avoid spreading any seeds. Proper disposal of invasive plants can be done free of charge at any CSRD landfill.

Interested in more easy, free invasive weed recipes? The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) and the North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES) are hosting an Edible Invasive Plant Workshop on September 16th, 5:00pm – 6:00pm at the Revelstoke Workers Memorial.  Come along to get specifics on how to ID plants and how to choose a safe harvest location. There will also be a selection of free recipes and the opportunity to partake in some edible invasive treats!  

For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook @ColumbiaShuswapInvasives.

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 Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Province of BC.




Summer Newsletter




In this edition…

  • Field Program Update
  • Summer Field Work Video
  • Aquatic Outreach Update
  • Invasive Mussel Sampling Update
  • IAPP Workshop Success
  • Outreach Activities





Field Program Update



Laura Gaster (above with poison hemlock) and our CSISS summer interns have been busy surveying invasive plants for the field program.  Surveyed plants are prioritized to maximize treatment dollar effectiveness.  Priority Species treated so far include poison hemlock, wild parsnip, Himalayan balsam, blueweed, yellow flag iris, teasel, scotch thistle, rush skeletonweed, and Himalayan blackberry.  Other, lower priority species have also been treated at high priority sites such as parks.
The field program has also been monitoring the effectiveness and spread of Bioagents (insects used to reduce the vigour of invasive plants)



Summer field work with CSISS: Columbia Shuswap water bodies and wildlife.


Turtles, ducks and invasive plants, oh my!



Aquatic Outreach Update




All marinas in the Columbia Shuswap region were visited this spring and given updated information on invasive species in the water bodies they depend on for their business operations.

Our summer interns have been spending time at boat launches across the region and advising people about how to Clean Drain and Dry their watercraft to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.

In addition we have been at several water sport events including the Paddlesport Classic in Revelstoke, dragon boating festivals and Fishing derbies across the region.

CSISS has partnered with multiple organizations across the region to install Clean Drain Dry signage at 32 more boat launches across the region.  Signs encourage both motorized and non-motorized watercraft owners to Clean Drain and Dry their boats between water bodies.



Invasive Mussel Sampling 



CSISS continues to sample for the presence of invasive mussels throughout the region, sending samples for analysis at the provincial laboratory in Vancouver.  60 samples have been taken so far, from 25 sampling sites on 9 water bodies.  All results have tested negative for mussels so far.  CSISS will continue to test these sites throughout the summer and into the fall.

No ducks were caught during sampling, though they occasionally tried to investigate our sampling nets!

CSISS has also deployed special substrate samplers around the region.  These samplers (created by CSISS summer interns Hannah and Janelle) are a collection of different substrates, lowered into in the water and left tied to a dock or other structure.  If invasive mussels are present in the lake, their young will settle onto the samplers and CSISS staff will detect them.

Some of these samplers are being monitored by local dock owners.  Many thanks to these folks for their help in looking after these samplers!



Outreach Activities Update





CSISS outreach staff have been busy hosting weed pulls, attending markets and special events, presenting to youth and community groups, hosting workshops and collaborating with many other organizations!




IAPP Workshop Success! 





Thanks to the participants of our summer workshop and to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program for support!




On July 25th, in Revelstoke BC, a one-day workshop was held with support of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program for participants who were interested in learning techniques for recording and reporting invasive plants using the Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP). The goal of the workshop was to increase monitoring and treatment of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species by land managers.
The three-hour in class session gave participants an overview of the functions of IAPP and included techniques for recording inventories and mechanical, biological and chemical monitoring. A two-hour outdoor session allowed participants to practice hands on skills for invasive plant identification, recording inventories and completing monitoring. Overall the workshop gave land managers the tools to correctly identify, report, and conduct invasive plant inventories.





Upcoming Events – August 2019
See Website and Facebook for event detailsAugust 11th- Scotch Creek Farmer’s Market
August 14th- Salmon Arm Nature Bay Enhancement Society Talk
August 16th,17th, 18th-Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
September 6,7,8– Salmon Arm Fall Fair

Stay Tuned for more fall events! 




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