AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES INSPECTIONS

 

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DON’T GET QUARANTINED AT THE BORDER OR AT THE VENUE. PLEASE READ ON…

THE PROBLEM

• Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native animals or plants that have been brought from other jurisdictions into Alberta’s waterways.

• Alberta Parks is very concerned with Zebra  Mussels, Quagga Mussels, and Eurasian Water Milfoil. Once introduced to a waterbody, these are virtually impossible to eradicate and can cause millions of dollars in damage to water-operated infrastructure and harm aquatic ecosystems.

INSPECTION PROTOCOLS

 
• Last year, several Alberta-bound boats were hit with quarantine orders of several weeks duration when coming from Ontario and Manitoba.
 
• Inspection stations exist in Montana, Idaho, and BC, so if your vessel is contaminated you may not even make it across the border.
 
• During our event, Alberta Environment officials will be in the parking lot at NSC doing courtesy inspections, and have the power to quarantine if they find evidence of an invasive species.
 
• Inspectors will be looking for any standing water in boats, weeds in centreboard trunks, and any growth or dampness on porous surfaces (we’ve seen them checking for weeds stuck to webbing on lifejackets, fish nets, trailer frames, and carpets) that could be harbouring zebra mussel spores.

HOW TO AVOID TROUBLE

 
• Cleaning your boat and trailer before departure from an infested water body is recommended, and if you can get an inspection documented then all the better.
 
 
• Inspectors want to see dry, clean boats with a nice bleachy smell coming from drain plugs and inspection ports.  They do NOT want to find mossy or crusty bilge sumps, any standing water, or shells clinging to skegs (Not that any racers would dream of showing up with such adornments on their hulls or foils!)
 
• Best Practice is to pluck off all weeds, give the exterior of the boat and trailer a high temp wash, then dry all surfaces and bilges.  Finally, flush out any enclosed areas (double bottoms, hollow trailer frames, etc) with a bleach solution.
 
• Do this BEFORE leaving a high risk area, as the decontamination process becomes MUCH harder if mussels are spotted after you arrive in a “clean” area.  Authorities may then want to catch your wash water in order to prevent any local runoff from reaching waterways via storm drains, and could still quarantine your boat and trailer for weeks.
 
 

A FINAL WORD FROM ALBERTA PARKS:

There are regular inspections in BC, Montana, Idaho and Alberta. Below are links to the respective programs for Idaho, Montana and BC.
 
The inspectors will be at the Regatta Wednesday- Saturday. We will work out a system to have the boats inspected once on the first day of their arrival, and then they won’t have to be re-inspected unless they travel to a different waterbody.
 
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