K9 Officer Major has joined the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s Invasive Mussel Defence to protect lakes in the Okanagan and B.C. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

K9 officer joins fight against invasive mussels in Okanagan lakes

Major joins the provincial government’s Invasive Mussel Defence Program’s 5th year

Invasive mussel species have not yet reached British Columbia’s lakes and the provincial government is ensuring they stay out of B.C. waters with help from an additional four-legged conservation officer.

Environment Minister George Heyman was in West Kelowna on Friday afternoon to detail the government’s 2019 Invasive Mussel Defence Program and introduce B.C. conservation officer K9 Major.

“British Columbians depend on our clean waterways for fishing, recreation and tourism. Zebra and quagga mussels pose a serious threat to these activities, as well as to our fish populations and sensitive ecosystems,” Heyman said.

“With the addition of a second detection dog, we will be able to conduct more inspections to prevent these destructive species from entering our province.”

READ MORE: Invasive mussels campaign ramps up for May long weekend

READ MORE: Kelowna General Hospital nurses happy with increased security

Quagga and zebra mussels have been found in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, as well as dozens of states in the United States. From now until late October 2019, inspectors with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) will be at 12 inspection stations throughout the province, educating the public about invasive mussels and checking boats travelling into and through B.C. before they enter the water.

The COS leads the enforcement of the Invasive Mussel Defence Program with 64 inspectors and Major, the COS’s second detection dog.

This will be the first season for Major and his handler Sgt. Cynthia Mann, who will join veteran detection dog Kilo. Kilo conducted more than 900 inspections and detected invasive mussels on two boats in his first year. Major and Kilo will primarily work at inspection stations, they are also trained in detecting firearms, bear parts and more.

READ MORE: Lake Okanagan Resort again under new management

Heyman ensured continued program funding from the provincial government on Friday, as the 2019 program includes more inspections and more opportunities to generate public awareness.

Almost $4 million is funded towards the program every year with funds coming from BC Hydro, Columbia Power and FortisBC.

More information on the Invasive Mussel Defence Program can be found at gov.bc.ca.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Indigenous festival co-creator looking to build traditonal Okanagan event

The inaugural Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival is July 6 and 7

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

Caged: Kelowna Falcons suffer 6th straight loss

The Falcons look for revenge Saturday night after a 15-5 loss

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Most Read