Blog Archives


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.



Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

JOB TITLE:  Invasive Species Program Assistant
LOCATION: Columbia-Shuswap
CLOSING DATE: March 4, 2019
EMPLOYMENT DURATION: 4-month (May-August),  30-35hrs/week, wage $16.30/hour (pending funding),
POSITIONS: 1-2 positions (pending funding)
JOB LOCATION:  Worksites within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Main office in Revelstoke, BC but travel required for position throughout the CSRD.


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.


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, including assisting with terrestrial and aquatic field programs, developing and delivering educational programs including local events, workshops and activities, as well as working with stakeholders, to ensure a coordinated approach to invasive species management in the region. A program assistant may be assigned to work primarily under a specific Program Coordinator (Field/Aquatic/Outreach) and be primarily working on one program. The Invasive Species Program Assistant will work in rural communities with a variety of stakeholders, including First Nations partners, the Invasive Species Council of BC, local governments, community groups, and others.

The base of operation will be located in the Columbia-Shuswap, and main office in Revelstoke, with extensive travel throughout the region. Regular team meetings will occur weekly in Revelstoke, BC. Although this will be full-time throughout the length of the term, work hours may fluctuate with weather and project demands.


Important Information:

  • Only candidates considered for positions will be contacted.
  • All candidates selected for an interview must be available for one-hour phone or in-person interview between March 18th– April 5, 2019.
  • Successful candidates for Job Reference 001 will be contacted in April (pending funding) and must be available to start May 6th 2019.


Please send any questions to


  • Work with Executive Director, Program Coordinators and other CSISS staff to deliver Invasive Species Terrestrial, Aquatic and Outreach programs as described in the CSISS Work plan
  • Help to deliver CSISS events and training programs throughout the region, including the delivery of Plant Wise, Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, and Don’t Let It Loose outreach programs
  • Work with Executive Director to build relationships with First Nations and other stakeholders in the region to enhance collaboration on invasive species issues
  • Assist with invasive species inventories (plants / aquatic sampling for Zebra Quagga mussels), invasive plant mechanical treatments, and InvasiveAlien Plant Program (IAPP) data collection
  • Track and report on successes of program



 The Program Assistant will be engaging with partners and the public on a daily basis and therefore need to be energetic, positive, outgoing, 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 are or are completing a relevant post-secondary program.  All activities are physically demanding.


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

  • Knowledge of invasive species;
  • Ability to engage effectively with members of the public;
  • Strong motivational skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Experience and interest in delivering public presentations and information-booths (comfortable and skilled at speaking with the public);
  • Experience working with youth and/or community groups;
  • Experience conducting plant or water surveys and field work;
  • Enjoy working outdoors in variable field conditions;
  • Enjoy physically challenging work such as mechanical invasive plant treatments;
  • Comfortable working in remote settings;
  • Experience driving with long days and distances;
  • Experience working around water and watercraft, and;
  • Willingness to travel, and work weekends.

Additional Assets:

  • Have or are working towards a technical certificate or degree in natural resource science;
  • 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 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) initiative (requirements listed below):

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.

The program’s broader objectives as part of the Youth Employment Strategy are to improve the labour market participation of Canadian youth. *International students are not eligible participants. International students include anyone who is temporarily in Canada for studies and who is not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada.



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

  1. Cover letter clearly stating:
  • The Job Reference # you would like to be considered for,
  • Your qualifications, relevant skills and experience,
  • Preference for aquatic or terrestrial based work,
  • Confirmed eligibility for Canada Summer Jobs Program.
  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, 2019 to:

Robyn Hooper, Executive Director, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

Email to:


Event Details:
Date: Thursday March 7, 2019
Time: Operational Planning Meeting  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch (provided) from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Time: Annual Land Manager Meeting 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location:  Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room, 600 Campbell Ave. Revelstoke, BC.

Operational Planning Meeting: We are reviewing the Columbia Shuswap 2014-2019 Operational Plan in order to create a revised 2020-2025 Operational Plan, and we’re looking for your input! The Operational Plan helps guide invasive species management within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and provides information on priority invasive species, planning, prevention, best management practices, enforcement and evaluating successes.  In the updated 2020-2025 Operational Plan, we will be looking at including a watchlist for invasive animals, aquatic invasives, and pathogens in the Columbia Shuswap region (based on Provincial government lists).

To view the 2014 – 2019 Operational Plan: Columbia Shuswap Operational Plan 2014 – 2019

Annual Land Manager Meeting: We are completing the annual review of the Priority Invasive Plant lists from the Columbia Shuswap Operational Plan. The Priority Invasive Plant lists help guide inventory, treatment, monitoring and data management of invasive plants within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. The goal of this meeting is to enable land managers to provide guidance and input on the Priority Invasive Plant 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.

To view the 2018 Priority Invasive Plant Lists: Columbia Shuswap 2018 Priority Invasive Plant Lists

Your input is critical in ensuring the delivery of an effective, efficient, and coordinated invasive species program in the Columbia Shuswap.  We appreciate your feedback as key partners and Board members in helping with this process.

Please register for one or both meetings HERE or provide written feedback for the Operational Planning Meeting and/or Annual Land Manager Meeting (Priority Invasive Plant Lists) by March 1, 2019 to
Learn more about other upcoming CSISS events and news in our recent newsletter.  Also check out our recently released 2018 Annual Report.

Stay connected: to join our newsletter and become a member click here.

CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners, including Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Province of BC.


Happy New Year!

That’s a wrap on 2018, we had a fantastic year thanks to dedicated staff, board of directors and volunteers.
See highlights from the year, our annual report and 2019 plans below.





Access our Annual Report here: 2018 Annual Report




Highlights from the past year




Terrestrial Field Program 

  • 712 invasive plant surveys
  • Inventories at 330 sites
  • Found 52 new sites
  • Mechanically treated 44 priority invasive plant sites, treating an area of 1,308 meters squared
  • Administered 3 herbicide contracts, treating 8,358 meters squared of land
  • Completed Biological Agent dispersal monitoring at 5 locations


Aquatic Field Program 

  • Collected 118 Zebra/Quagga veliger samples
  • Sampled 42 locations across 22 water bodies
  • Water quality was found to be survivable for mussels
  • No invasive mussels detected!

Outreach Program

  • Engaged with over 3,998 people through 167 community events and meetings
  • Hosted 20 youth and school events
  • Visited 51 marinas and boat launches to promote “Clean, Drain, Dry” 
  • Hosted 12 weed pulls with 158 volunteers
  • Contributed 8 press releases and was featured in 48 news articles

Congratulations to our new Outreach Program Coordinator Kim Kaiser! Kim worked with CSISS in 2018 as the Education Officer and will be continuing in 2019 with this new role coordinating the CSISS Outreach Program, in conjuction with Aquatics Coordinator Sue Davies.







Check out our new Restoration and Invasives page on our website. Coming soon: a new knotweed brochure for landowners!




Upcoming Events!
 CSISS will be attending the Work BC Salmon Arm Hiring Fair Jan 25th, 
The ISCBC Annual Forum Feb 5th-7th, and
The NCES Sustainable Living Expo in Revelstoke Feb 9th
March 6, 7 or 8th 2019:  Annual Land Managers Meeting, in Revelstoke (stay tuned for final date and registration invitation)
CSISS  Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshops offered in Revelstoke, Golden, Salmon Arm and Sicamous. (Spring dates TBD)
Book a workshop or presentation by CSISS – contact us at









Great News for Columbia Shuswap Watersheds: No invasive mussels detected in 2018!




We are thrilled to announce that all 22 water bodies tested across the Columbia Shuswap Region were free of Zebra and Quagga mussels! 
  • Fresh water bodies are not only vital for recreation and tourism, but are also an integral part of the economy in our region. 
  • Protecting infrastructure and native ecosystems from the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species is a priority. 

Aquatic Outreach 

CSISS also provided a variety of aquatic-related outreach in the 2018 field season:

  • Visited 51 Marinas and 22 Boat launches
  • Completed 113 boater surveys
  • Provided Clean, Drain, Dry outreach at 77 events



Thank to our Funders!

Thanks to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, The Shuswap Watershed Council, the Province of BC, and the Columbia Basin Trust for funding our aquatic sampling and outreach programs this year! Thank you to other regional groups for their in kind support and partnerships.