NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC – Boating season is here, and so is the risk of spreading invasive plants, animals, and mollusks.

According to a release from the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC), BC waters are facing growing threats of zebra and quagga mussels, and other aquatic invasive species. Gail Wallin, executive director of ISCBC said British Columbians must all be vigilant.

“(We) remind boaters that they should always take action before launching into another waterbody to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species,” Wallin wrote in the release.

Boaters are being reminded to thoroughly clean, drain, and dry their boats and all equipment after going into the water:

  • Clean of all plants, animals and mud from boat and gear
  • Drain all water from boat, gear, and equipment onto land
  • Dry all parts of boat and gear completely before launching into a new body of water

Aquatic invasive species are non-native species which include plants, animals, and mollusks that can damage fisheries, shipping, aquaculture, and tourism.

The release added that invasive species can also put stress on ecosystem functions, processes, and structures, litter beaches as well as damage hydroelectric and drinking filtration facilities.

There are approximately 133 aquatic invasive species in BC, which continue to spread and cause damage.