Blog Archives


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.


Aliens in the Water – All Eyes on Deck!

What alien invasive species has been detected in Revelstoke Lake Reservoir?

A — Quagga Mussels;

B — Zebra Musells; or

C — Eurasian Milfoil?

If you answered Quagga and/or Zebra Mussels you’d be wrong. But if you answered C — Eurasian Milfoil — you’d be the big winner.

Last autumn, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society completed invasive plant and mussel detection surveys in high priority lakes in the North Columbia. To date, the analyses from Lake Kinbasket, Lake Revelstoke, The Upper Arrow reservoir, and the Columbia River all came back negative for Zebra and Quagga Mussels.

However, invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil was detected in Lake Revelstoke, near the Martha Creek Provincial Park boat launch. Our surveys confirmed earlier studies by BC Hydro and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations that originally found this site infestation.

Invasive milfoil and invasive mussels take over riparian and recreational water areas, making it dangerous and difficult for swimmers and native aquatic life. Eurasian Water Milfoil is found throughout the Shuswap Lake region, and the CSRD runs a program funded by Shuswap residents to manage milfoil infestations at public recreational areas.

Invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels have not been detected in British Columbia, and are a real threat to our economy and environment: it would cost millions of dollars annually to maintain infested hydro-dam and water-valve infrastructure; in addition, invasive mussels would pollute our beaches, and decimate native aquatic life,” says CSISS Program Manager Robyn Hooper, “It is illegal in BC to transport invasive mussels on your watercraft.”

The Eurasian Milfoil site at Martha Creek goes to show that we need to constantly be on the look-out for new invaders threatening our lakes and rivers,” says the CSISS Executive Director Natalie Stafl, “We encourage all watercraft users to properly clean, drain and dry their equipment to protect our waters.

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species is working with the appropriate jurisdictions and stakeholders regarding a strategy for the Eurasian Milfoil infestation in Lake Revelstoke, under the guidance of the Canadian Columbia Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Framework. CSISS is planning more invasive plant and mussel detection surveys for 2016, and is excited to have Laura Gaster back with the CSISS staff team as the new Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator this spring.

Clean Drain Dry Instructions for Boaters (ISCBC) Eurasian (left) and Native Milfoil (right) (H.Kassa CSRD) Inspecting a boat for invasive mussels, Lake Mead, USA. (CSISS) Invasive Quagga Mussel Lake Mead USA (CSISS)

Images (from Left to Right): 1. Clean Drain Dry Instructions for Watercraft Users (ISCBC), 2. Eurasian and Native Milfoil (H.Kassa), 3. Inspecting a Boat Motor Infested with Quagga Mussels in Lake Mead (CSISS), and 4. Quagga Mussels in Lake Mead (CSISS).

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 Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Reference Resources

For more information on the 2015 invasive plant and mussel surveys, take a look at the CSISS North Columbia Priority Aquatic Invasive Species Surveys 2015 Report.

Learn about where to properly clean your watercraft and what waterbodies in Eastern Canada and the Southern United States are infested in our Boat Decontamination and Wash Locations brochure.

BC Hydro Columbia River Project Water Use Plan: KINBASKET RESERVOIR FISH & WILDLIFE INFORMATION PLAN Reference: CLBMON-55. Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment – Phase 1 Study Period: July 2009 – October 2010. G3 Consulting Ltd. (Note: page 51-52 Invasive Species). Appendices.

BC Hydro. Columbia River Project Water Use Plan Kinbasket Reservoir Fish & Wildlife Information Plan. Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment Implementation Year 2 Reference: CLBMON-55.Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment – Phase 2. Study Period: September 2014 to October 2014. G3 Consulting Ltd.



Text Box: Eurasian milfoil (left) has many more leaf pairs compared to the native milfoil (pictured right)
Text Box: Eurasian Milfoil often grows in dense patches, outcompeting native aquatic vegetation and altering fish habitat
Text Box: View of submerged Eurasian milfoil looking back at Martha Creek Boat Launch



For the full report with photos, maps and descriptions of our 2015 programs please click here.


April 2015 marked the start of the third operational season of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS). Since its

inception, the Society has actively pursued the goals identified in the 2013 CSISS Strategic Plan:

  1. Implement a collaborative and coordinated program
  2. Educate, engage and inspire residents and others to participate in invasive plant management
  3. Prevent the introduction of new invasive species
  4. Maximize the probability of detection and eradication of new invasive species
  5. Slow or reverse the spread of existing invasive species and reduce their harmful impacts
  6. Ensure program sustainability

In 2015, the CSISS strengthened and expanded its network of partners and furthered its objective to deliver collaborative and coordinated programs in the CSRD. This was achieved through its partnerships with various levels of government, the Invasive Species Council of BC, other regional invasive species groups, local stakeholders, residents and NGOs. Over 47 new and existing partnerships were established and strengthened.

Educating and engaging local residents continued to be a priority in 2015. The CSISS presented to and conducted targeted outreach to various stakeholders, landowners and First Nations. Additionally, the CSISS has supported numerous community events, hosted training workshops, re-designed and replaced outreach materials and banners, and engaged youth across the region through presentations and outdoor-based learning. Through these outreach activities, the CSISS directly engaged with over 2,960 people in the region, 986 of them youth.

The CSISS approached 18 garden centres and nurseries and presented the “PlantWise” message to various target groups to prevent new invasives from establishing in the region. CSISS staff also actively participated in the “Clean-Drain-Dry” Program, spreading the message to youth, local residents, water stewardship and boating groups to help prevent aquatic invaders such as Zebra/Quagga Mussels. Since January 2015, the CSISS was mentioned in 28 local news, radio and web pieces. Outreach through social media was also emphasized with an average of 1-2 posts per week on Facebooks and 127 ‘likes’ on the CSISS page. Through this media coverage the CSISS raised awareness of invasives and the importance of prevention activities.

In 2015, the CSISS hired an AIS contractor, Chris Harkness to inventory critical and high priority water bodies for aquatic invasive plants and Zebra/ Quagga mussel veligers to maximize the probability of detection and eradication of invasives. CSISS staff also targeted areas across the region for terrestrial invasive plant surveys, greatly enhancing our knowledge of the distribution and abundance of various high priority species in the region.

CSISS staff worked with key partners to slow and reverse the spread of invasive species. The CSISS hosted an Industrial Vegetation and Noxious Weed Applicator course in 2015 to train staff and build capacity among program partners. To enhance coordinated control efforts, CSISS staff collaborated with various land managers to ensure accurate, up-to date priority plant targets for active control. During the 2015 field season, CSISS staff documented and entered over 382 invasive plant records into IAPP. Over 78 volunteers participated in 6 weed pulls across the region, pulling over 125 bags of weeds!

In 2015, the CSISS employed 4 staff, 1 AIS contractor and added nearly $50,000 to its operating budget. Increasing in-house capacity and entering into multi-year funding agreements enhanced the overall program sustainability. Thanks to dedicated staff, diligent Directors, knowledgeable partners and inspired volunteers, the CSISS expanded its programming and made significant progress on each goal identified in the 2013 CSISS Strategic Plan.


Any questions or comments? Email us at




VICTORIA  – Columbia Basin Trust is helping the province to double the number of mobile decontamination units aimed at stopping invasive mussels from entering British Columbia waterways, thanks to $360,000 in new funding.


This new partnership, in the Ministry of Environment led Invasive Mussel Defence Program, also includes support from Columbia Power Corporation, FortisBC and the four local invasive species councils operating in the region East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council, Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society and the Northwest Invasive Plant Council.


The new resources mean an additional three mobile inspection and decontamination crews will be dedicated to stopping and ensuring boats are free of mussels. The teams will be based in Cranbrook, Valemount and Nelson, to target major entry points from Alberta and the U.S. The new teams join three other crews that are already operational, doubling the number of mobile units dedicated to protecting B.C.s lakes and rivers against the threat of quagga and zebra mussels.


The decontamination units allow auxiliary conservation officers, who are trained to identify mussel-infested boats, to decontaminate boats and trailers entering B.C. The teams also respond to boats identified as concerns by the Canada Border Services Agency, and partner agencies in Alberta and the U.S. The mobile units move between border locations, focusing on high-traffic routes and have the ability to quickly respond to any reports of potential threats called in through the provincial Report All Poachers and Polluters line.


The addition of these specialized mussel detection teams further enhances the provincial early detection and rapid response program for invasive mussels. This includes supporting education and outreach activities, such as the Clean, Drain, Dry program being delivered by the invasive species councils.


Aquatic invasive species, such as zebra and quagga mussels, pose a significant threat to Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and critical infrastructure such as hydroelectric and drinking water facilities. No zebra or quagga mussels have ever been found in B.C. waterways, and the Province is hard at work ensuring it stays that way.



Mary Polak, Minister of Environment

“Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and FortisBC recognize the importance of Ministry of Environment Columbia Basin Trust protecting aquatic infrastructure and environments in B.C. from invasive mussels. Thanks to their generosity, we are doubling the number of mobile decontamination units aimed at ensuring these invasive species never enter our waterways. This is another step forward in our ongoing efforts against invasive mussels.”


Bill Bennett, East Kootenay MLA

“Invasive mussels pose a threat to more than just ecosystems, but to drinking water facilities, hydro stations, agricultural irrigation and more. This funding boost from Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and FortisBC allows the Province to further strengthen efforts to stop zebra and quagga mussels from entering B.C.”


Neil Muth, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust

“Preventing the threat of invasive mussels is critical to protecting our waterways for environmental, economic and recreational reasons, and has been identified as a priority by the residents that live here. Increasing the level of protection in this region is key and we are pleased to support the prevention efforts this summer to keep mussels out of the Columbia Basin.”


Sue Dyer, vice president, Operations, Columbia Power Corporation

“Protecting aquatic infrastructure and the environment is important to Columbia Power. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Columbia Basin Trust to generate awareness of invasive mussels and create new decontamination sites.”


Jody Drope, vice president, HR & Environment, Health & Safety, FortisBC

“FortisBC operates in an environmentally responsible manner to protect the environment for future generations. Preventing the spread of invasive mussels is an important task facing the province today. These mussels grow at a rapid rate, killing off native aquatic life and posing a threat to our hydroelectric dams. We are committed to working on a solution to stem the mussels spread while ensuring the protection of our freshwater ecosystem.”


Khaylish Fraser, aquatic invasive species program coordinator, Central Kootenay Invasive

Species Society

“Preventing the introduction of zebra and quagga mussels is key because it only takes one boat with live mussels or their larvae to enter a waterway in B.C. to be catastrophic. This is why it’s so important that this defence program continue beyond this summer and that it continues to expand here in the Columbia Basin and throughout the province.”


Quick Facts:

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis

bugensis) are not native to B.C.

  • ·         Both of these species originate from Europe. They were introduced to Canada (in the Great Lakes region) and the United States in the 1980s, as the result of ballast water being discharged by vessels travelling from Europe.
  • ·         They are propeller blade shaped freshwater mussels that can easily attach themselves to objects and other organisms, and they are difficult to remove.
  • ·         Adult mussels will attach themselves to boat hulls, trailers, motors, vegetation and equipment.
  • ·         Where introduced, these mussels kill native mussels and clams, and reduce native fish species, by altering the aquatic food web. They also attach to aquatic plants and submerged surfaces, including piers, pilings, water intakes and fish screens.
  • ·         If large numbers of mussels become established in an area, they can cover hard surfaces and clog pipes.
  • ·         To report suspected invasive mussels, please call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line (RAPP), at 1 877 952-7277.
  • ·         Funding for this initiative is provided as follows:

o   Columbia Basin Trust $275,000

o   Columbia Power Corporation $70,000

o   FortisBC $15,000

  • ·         Columbia Basin Trust entered into a three year partnership with the four invasive species councils (councils) in the Basin last year. The councils have recently completed the development of a co-ordinated Basin-wide strategy for addressing priority aquatic invasive species, including mussels.
  • ·         The councils will provide their valuable time and equipment toward this initiative.
  • ·         Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. The Trust offers a range of services, programs, initiatives and financial investments for the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Columbia Basin now and for generations to come.
  • ·         Columbia Power develops, owns and operates hydro power projects in the Columbia Basin.
  • ·         FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities.


Learn More:

Find out more about invasive zebra and quagga mussels:

To find out more about what the public can do to help keep B.C. invasive-mussel free, visit:

To learn more about Columbia Basin Trust, visit:

For more information about Columbia Power, visit:

For more information about FortisBC, visit:


Join us Wednesday, October 8th from 9:00 am -12:30 pm PT for the second Annual General Meeting of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS).

1) Learn about the latest in Bio-control with special guest Catherine MacRae
2) See what CSISS has been up to this summer
3) Help us review and revise our Regional Priority Plant List

Complimentary lunch will be provided with a Board of Directors meeting to follow.

Please RSVP before Monday, October 6th.
Special thanks to all of our sponsors, the CSRD, CBT, MOTI and MFLNRO for their financial support in making these meetings possible.


How to register: Email with your name, organization, and dietary restrictions.

Where: Revelstoke Community Centre, 600 Campbell Avenue

When: 8:30am- 12:30pm with food/beverages provided

To read the full agenda click here: Agenda_CSISS_AGM_2014



CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY The Invasive Species Council of BC is conducting a survey on public awareness of invasive plants. The survey will be used to facilitate assessment and planning of initiatives to help control the spread of invasive plants. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes and all measures to protect the privacy of survey respondents will be undertaken.

[Photo of Himalayan Balsam, an invasive plant that takes over riparian and wetland areas. Photo credit: Natalie Stafl]

Come join us to learn about Revelstoke’s wetlands at an event to celebrate this unique ecosystem in our region and explore its past, present and future. CSISS will have a booth at the event to educate the public about the impact of aquatic invasives and the importance of protecting this invaluable natural resource. You’ll find us at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, Friday May 2nd. Doors open at 6:30, admittance by donation.