As summer comes to a close, Albertans will soon be packing up their summer floaties and digging out their warm winter gear! Instead of going into hibernation instantly, your important role as citizen scientists must continue on through the cold times ahead. We must remain diligent and keep our eyes peeled for invasive species. This year, we’re asking Albertans to band together and lend an extra helping hand while they are packing up their cabins at the lake.
Alberta has been successful at protecting our water resources by keeping invasive mussels out of the province. A key part of the Aquatic Invasive Species Program is monitoring. Through various partnerships, there are 85 waterbodies being monitored for mussel veligers (the microscopic larvae that float in the water) and adults (that attached to hard surfaces).
Start with a check up for the dock
When you remove your dock and boat from the lake, take an extra moment to look at all hard surfaces that were under the water for attached mussels.
Keep your eyes peeled
Don’t have a dock or boat? It’s still important to keep your eyes out for pesky invaders, mussels or other species, while you’re out enjoying all that Alberta’s natural landscapes have to offer.
An attached mussel is an invasive mussel, and they will likely be very small so you’ll have to be extra diligent!
While mussels remain a crucial species to look for, we’re always on the lookout for other invasive species that could bypass our border inspections. Prevention is essential when it comes to invasive species, but if there ever is an introduction, the sooner we know, the better.
Report what you see!
You can report what you see (or don’t see) to EDDMaps Alberta. Download the app, or use the website, and create an account to report either positive or negative sightings. Everything that is reported is reviewed by an invasive species expert before it gets made public and is added to a database. If you’re not a fan of the internet or using a smartphone, give our 24-hour hotline a call at 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT) to make reports.
Keep your shoreline natural
Maintaining a natural shoreline with room for lots of native aquatic vegetation is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy lake environment for all to enjoy! Aquatic vegetation performs many important biological functions, such as filtering runoff and protecting shorelines from wave and wind erosion. For more tips on keeping Alberta’s lakes healthy, visit Respect our Lakes program.
Get involved in lake monitoring
If you want to be actively involved in monitoring your lake for more than just invasive species, the Alberta Lake Management Society is always in need of volunteers to get their lake technicians out on the water to collect samples.
Learn more about invasive species