Conservation officers use dogs trained to detect invasive zebra mussels on boats, and the skill comes in handy to check decorative aquarium moss balls that may be contaminated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Conservation officers use dogs trained to detect invasive zebra mussels on boats, and the skill comes in handy to check decorative aquarium moss balls that may be contaminated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

B.C. collects thousands of contaminated aquarium moss balls

Boat checks next in battle to stop invasive zebra mussels

A public warning about aquarium moss balls has led to the collection of nearly 3,000 “confirmed or suspected” to be contaminated with invasive zebra mussels.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service first warned in early March of the contaminated items, sold as “Marimo moss balls” for house plants or aquarium plants. Lab-confirmed or suspected contaminated moss balls have since been found mostly in the Lower Mainland, as well as Invermere, Terrace, Kamloops and on Vancouver Island.

Conservation officers contacted more than 1,100 pet stores, garden centres and other retailers, and the suspected items were either surrendered or seized. It’s the latest effort to stop the invasive species from entering lakes and rivers, where they can affect fish populations as well as hydro power stations and other infrastructure. There have been no reports of live zebra mussels being introduced into B.C. waterways as a result.

“Several people have reported finding what they believed were zebra mussels in their home aquariums,” the service said in a statement April 1. “Investigations have linked some potentially contaminated moss balls to international shipments.”

The annual battle against zebra mussels moves to its usual target next, with inspection of out-of-province boats that may be bringing them into B.C. on their hulls and bilges. Checkpoints are set up each summer at popular boat launches to inspect and clean boats that may be contaminated.

RELATED: Aquarium users warned after mussels found at pet store

RELATED: 10 zebra mussel-fouled boats found in B.C. in 2020


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)
Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

New signage was installed leading up to the intersection of 10th Avenue SW and Highway 97B in 2019, but concerns have been raised about continuing danger. (File photo)
Improvements urged for Salmon Arm’s Highway 97B/10th Avenue SE intersection

Council may bring up overpass with transportation ministry as crossing under provincial control

Sicamous Council approved a development permit for a new mobile home park on Hillier road on Wednesday, April 14. (Jim Elliot- Eagle Valley News)
Sicamous council approves development of 35 unit mobile home park

The new development will be located on Hillier Road

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read