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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Invader species such as whirling disease, zebra mussels, eurasian water milfoil and purple loosestrife have been found in Saskatchewan or pose a real threat of becoming established here.

Help Protect Our Waters: Stop Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) threaten aquatic habitats, fisheries and valuable recreational resources.  They can spread through water or by attaching to watercraft, related equipment and gear, and aquatic plants.

You can help stop the spread by remembering to practice: CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY

Before returning home from out of province, coming to visit or moving between waters within the province – please follow these important steps to help protect Saskatchewan waters.

  • CLEAN and inspect the watercraft, trailer, equipment and all gear that made contact with the water.
    • Remove all visible plants, animals and mud. Scrub/scrape grainy surfaces that feel like sandpaper, as this could be young mussels too small to see.
    • Wash, scrub or rinse using high pressure, hot tap water preferably 50oC (120 oF) – away from storm drains, ditches and waterways.
    • Inspect the watercraft, trailer and vehicle.
  • DRAIN all on-board water from the motor, livewell, bilge, and ballast tanks. Flush with hot tap water away from storm drains, ditches and waterways.  Then leave plugs out during transport and storage.
  • DRY your watercraft, equipment and all related gear completely, preferably for at least five days while leaving compartments open to dry.

And remember to DISPOSE of all unwanted bait in the trash.  Never release leftover leeches or crayfish, aquarium pets, plants or water into our lakes, rivers or wetlands.

Clean | Drain | Dry Factsheet

Report any sightings to the nearest Ministry of Environment office or call the TIP Line 1-800-667-7561. 

Zebra and Quagga Mussels

Zebra and quagga mussels are two aquatic invasive species that everyone should be aware of.  These invasive mussels threaten aquatic habitats, fisheries, recreational resources and water-based infrastructure that could cost Saskatchewan millions of dollars a year. Every time you leave the water please follow the steps of CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY.

Zebra and Quagga Mussels Fact Sheet

Prohibited Aquatic Fish in Saskatchewan

Amendments to The Fisheries Regulations now prohibit Saskatchewan residents and visitors from importing, possessing, transporting or selling aquiatic invasive species that are considered to be a potentially significant risk to Saskatchewan waters.  For a list of prohibited fish, [click here].

Northern Snakehead

The Ministry of Environment is asking the public not to purchase a specific species of fish called the northern snakehead, which has been found available at local pet stores in the province.

Northern Snakehead Fact Sheet 

Invader Species on Board

Whirling disease affects trout species with rainbow trout being especially susceptible. The disease is caused by a microscopic parasite that spreads from fish to fish by the tubifex worm. The disease could enter Saskatchewan by importing disease-bearing fish, or by importing water or mud, which may carry spores of the parasite.

Eurasian Water Milfoil

Eurasian water milfoil is a non-native aquatic plant that chokes out native plants and spreads rapidly to new areas. This weed stops water flow, displaces native plants, covers spawning habitats used by fish and affects waterbased recreation. These weeds can be introduced from fish livewells or boat propellors.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife has already invaded many wetlands and major waterways of the prairies. The plant chokes out shoreline and wetland plants and fills in open areas. It eventually creates a dense purple landscape almost totally devoid of wildlife. To report the sighting of purple loosestrife, [click here]. 



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