Invasive Species Alert

Invasive quagga mussels found in Pacific Northwest

Photo Taken By L. Scott
Alert Date:Posted on

QUAGGA MUSSELS HAVE BEEN FOUND in the Snake River in IDAHO. The discovery was made during routine water sampling, similar to what occurs in the Okanagan Valley.

The discovery is a “potential crisis”. The implications extend beyond Idaho, as the Snake River flows into the Columbia River system, shared by the region’s tribes, the states of Washington and Oregon, and of course BC. 

Invasive quagga mussels have grave implications for ecosystems – they are filter feeders which can strip waters of plankton and harm native food webs. They can be economically damaging, clogging pipes and waterways which can cost millions of dollars to manage. They also pose a health risk, covering beaches with sharp shells that are painful to walk on and reduce the recreational appeal of our lakes.  

So far, only the microscopic juvenile growth stage of the mussels has been detected in the Snake River – no adult mussels have been found. The outbreak is being monitored to estimate how many individuals there are and how far they have spread.  

 The best way to prevent further spread of quagga mussels is to CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY all watercraft before moving between water bodies. Before travelling to B.C., make sure to stop at a mandatory watercraft inspection station to check for invasive mussels.  


To read the ISDA news release, click here  

To learn more about invasive mussels in BC, click here