Protecting Our Waters from Aquatic Invasive Species

Project Year: 2016-2017

View Provincial Database Record

Columbia Region: Larry Halverson

Project Lead

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society


Columbia Region

West Kootenay

Project Type

Research & Information Acquisition

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Large Lakes Action Plan

Project ID


Protecting Our Waters From Aquatic Invasive Species: Phase 3

This project aims to ensure productive and biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems within the Central and West Kootenay regions. Work will include: surveying and monitoring for new incursions of highly invasive aquatic invasive species; collaborating with partners to engage in Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Plans (if high-priority species are detected); monitoring changes in composition, density and distribution of existing infestations of invasive species; undertaking management activities (cultural, mechanical) where feasible; and increasing education and awareness about aquatic invasive species across a broad spectrum of audiences.

The anticipated results include: the identification of new incursions of invasive species, such as Zebra and Quagga Mussels; enabling the implementation of EDRR by CKISS and stakeholders (thereby protecting native species from the negative impacts associated with non-native invasive species); helping to prevent the accidental or purposeful spread to uninfested locations (thereby preserving the ecological and social integrity of Columbia Region water bodies). In addition, education and outreach activities will increase the number of people that perform the best management practices known to prevent the movement of invasive species, thereby decreasing the potential for accidental spread; and cross-border communication will increase awareness of the aquatic invasive species and help control their movement within connected waterways.


Final Report: Executive Summary

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat both ecologically and economically to waterbodies in the Central and West Kootenay regions of British Columbia. It is known that the aquatic invasive plants Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Curlyleaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) are present throughout Kootenay Lake and the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. Within close proximity to our region’s borders there are confirmed populations of Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus), Virile Crayfish (Orconectes virilis), and Parrotsfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). Furthermore, highly invasive species such as Zebra and Quagga Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugenis) have been detected in western provinces and states as close as Manitoba and Montana.

The popularity of the Kootenays as a recreational boating destination increases the potential risk of an accidental introduction of a number of high priority AIS. Furthermore, invasive species already present within the region could easily be spread to other waterbodies currently free of AIS. The public play an important role in preventing the introduction and spread of AIS because human activities pose the greatest risk for AIS movement between inland waterways. Therefore, it is essential to continue providing education on how to change the behaviours that are responsible for spreading AIS. To address this, the CKISS engaged in various outreach activities and media directed at specific target audiences and the general public, raising awareness about aquatic invasive species through education and promoting the province-wide Clean Drain Dry, Don’t Let it Loose, and PlantWise programs.

Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.

View more about this project on the provincial database