Zebra/ Quagga Mussels


Image courtesy of the Invasive Species Council of BC

Latin name:

Zebra Mussels: Dreissena polymorpha

Quagga Mussels: Dreissena rostriformis bugensis

Native to:

Southern Russia and Ukraine

Regional Distribution:
No confirmed infestations in BC. However, there was a close call when a boat carrying viable zebra mussels entered Shuswap lake in 2012. Once found, the boat was removed and decontaminated. Currently the Ministry of Environment is monitoring water quality to check for any signs of larvae or mussel activity in the impacted area. CSISS conducts mussel detection surveys in coordination with the Ministry of Environment throughout the region.

Zebra and Quagga mussels are small fresh-water mussels. They have a D shaped shell with striped patterning.  They grow from the size of a finger nail up to about 4-5 cm long. They attach themselves to various substrates by using string-like ‘byssal threads”. For more info visit the Zebra/ Quagga Mussel Fact Sheet developed by the Province of BC.

The best control is prevention and early action.
Clean, Drain and Dry your boat before launching into another water-body.
Let’s keep BC Zebra mussel free; if you do find evidence of non-native mussels report them right away!

Fun facts:
These species could cause millions of dollars in damage if established in BC by clogging intake valves and waterways and damaging infrastructure. Zebra mussels damage local ecosystems and could impact recreational activities in the Shuswap and Columbia lakes.  The most effect step you can take to avoiding this damage is to Clean, Drain and Dry your boat before transporting it to another water body.


Zebra and Quagga Mussels

A major threat to BC’s freshwater lakes and rivers are zebra and quagga mussels.

For more information visit the BC Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group. 

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.18.56 PMClick to watch Mussel Threat

To Report a Mussel:
In British Columbia any suspected, transport, possession, sale or release of Zebra Quagga Mussel should be reported immediately to:

Conservation Officer Services Hotline 1-877-952-7277

 www.reportinvasives.ca website.