CSISS Updates

| Welcome to Winter | ZQM Free in 2023  |  Winter Invasive Species Prevention |    

| Captivating Content |  Upcoming Events |


Welcome to Winter

Warm Winter Greetings from CSISS

As winter finally blankets our region in a layer of snow, we wanted to take a moment to update you on what has been happening in the world of CSISS. Despite the chill in the air, our team has been working behind the scenes: reviewing the achievements of 2023 and planning for the year ahead.


As we reflect on our accomplishments and gear up for the challenges that lie ahead, we extend our deepest gratitude for your ongoing support. Wishing you a wonderful winter season and looking forward to another year of successful collaboration.

Zebra and Quagga Mussel Free in 2023!

BC Free of Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels

No ZQM detection in the CSRD or in the province!


As part of the collaborative efforts of the BC Invasive Mussel Defense Program, CSISS is excited to report that no evidence of Zebra and Quagga mussels have been found in our region in 2023! These mussels are highly invasive and can have devastating environmental, economic, and social impacts. Thanks to support from the Ministry of Water, Lands and Resource Stewardship, the Habitat Conservation Trust, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), and the Shuswap Watershed Council, CSISS has been monitoring for Zebra and Quagga mussels in the Columbia Shuswap since 2015. This year, plankton sampling for mussels began on May 24 and was complete on October 11. Throughout the season, CSISS conducted 137 samples at 25 sites along 15 water bodies across the region. Thank you to everyone for their continued efforts and let’s keep BC invasive mussel free in 2024! Remember to stop at watercraft inspection stations when travelling out of province and always Clean, Drain, and Dry all watercraft before use to prevent spreading invasive species.


Photo: Marlee Verleih, CSISS  Field Technician, with a plankton tow net used to monitor for invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

Check out our AIS sampling 2023 video summary

Invasives are a four season problem

Heading out for a winter adventure?

Make sure you clean off your winter gear before and after your play outside.

Can you identify the invasive plant in the snow? Even as the temperatures drop, the battle against these intruders continues. Seeds from invasive plants, like the resilient mullein pictured in the snowy backdrop, can hitch a ride on unsuspecting pets and outdoor gear. These dormant invaders eagerly await the thaw, ready to sprout and establish a foothold in our pristine surroundings. It’s a reminder that our commitment to preventing invasive species must endure year-round. So, whether you’re enjoying a winter hike or gearing up for a snowy adventure, take a moment to inspect and clean your equipment, ensuring that you’re not unwittingly transporting these unwelcome guests into our delicate ecosystems.

Learn more about Play Clean Go in Winter here

Whirling Disease detection in BC

Photo: Rainbow trout with whirling disease, Sascha Hallet, FishPathogens.net

We are disappointed to learn about the presumptive positive detection of Whirling Disease at the iconic Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park. This development has the potential to mark the first-ever case of Whirling Disease in British Columbia.


Temporary Closure for Conservation:

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Parks Canada has taken decisive measures by temporarily closing all waterbodies in Yoho and Kootenay National Park until March 2023. CSISS supports this proactive step as it is vital in minimizing the risk of further potential spread and preserving the health of our cherished aquatic ecosystems.


Understanding Whirling Disease:

Whirling Disease is a devastating condition brought about by a microscopic parasite that primarily targets trout and salmon. Infected fish display a distinctive and distressing “whirling” swimming pattern, often leading to premature mortality. The potential presence of Whirling Disease underscores the critical importance of safe guarding our natural habitats.

Whirling Disease Press Release

Captivating Content

Invasive species and nature inspired, news, stories, podcasts, books capturing our attention.

Upcoming Events

January 30-31: International Invasive Species Climate Change Conference

January 18- March 21: Columbia Mountains Institute CRED talks

February 3: CSRD Referendum for Shuswap Watershed Council

February 26-29: Invasives 2024 ISCBC Annual Forum and AGM


Contact CSISS to book a training presentation for your organization at: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Thank You to our Funders in 2024

We acknowledge the financial support of: the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, BC Parks and the Community Gaming Grant; the Columbia Shuswap Regional District; The Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation; The Nature Trust of BC; The City of Salmon Arm; Parks Canada; BC Hydro; the Shuswap Watershed Council; Environment and Climate Change Canada; Employment and Social Development Canada (Canada Summer Jobs); Eco Canada (Environmental Pathways and Science Horizons Wage Subsidies). We acknowledge the in kind support and partnership with several other organizations across the region.




Categories: Newsletter

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society