The Okanagan Basin Water Board’s milfoil control program was out on Kalamalka Lake this past week. A native mussel species is creating challenges to keep the milfoil weed under control. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Native mussel species crimping Okanagan milfoil control plans

Rocky Mountain ridged mussel has Victoria reluctant to allow rototilling to control weeds

  • Apr. 7, 2019 7:48 p.m.

GREATER VERNON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

A native mussel species is creating challenges to keep the milfoil weed under control.

Director Bob Fleming told the Regional District of North Okanagan board April 3 that the provincial government is reluctant to let the Okanagan Basin Water Board rototill the invasive milfoil in certain areas of local lakes because of the Rocky Mountain ridged mussel.

“This means the weeds could keep growing,” said Fleming of milfoil impacting swimmers and boaters.

READ ALSO: North Okanagan-Shuswap MP calls for response to failing invasive species program

Fleming added that regional districts may have to lobby the provincial government to find a balance between protecting the ridged mussels and maintaining beaches.

READ ALSO: Climate change brings higher numbers of invasive aquatic plants in Okanagan

The Rocky Mountain ridged mussel is considered endangered, but Fleming says, “There is evidence that the mussels aren’t endangered.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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