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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Zebra mussel larvae found outside treated areas of Manitoba waterways

WINNIPEG - It appears Manitoba's fight against zebra mussels isn't over yet.

Results of monitoring of Lake Winnipeg have turned up a small number of zebra mussel larvae.

Nine larva were found in three of the 60 samples taken from where the Red River enters the lake, offshore from Grand Marais, in Traverse Bay, and north of where Black River enters Lake Winnipeg.

Earlier this summer, Manitoba used potash in four harbours to get rid of the zebra mussels.

Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh says while the treatment was successful and slowed the spread of the mussels, a localized population exists outside the treated areas.

The Zebra Mussel Science Advisory Committee will continue to advise the province on best methods of managing the infestation.

To prevent the spread of zebra mussels from Lake Winnipeg to other water bodies, anyone who boats on Lake Winnipeg are asked to ensure they clean, drain and dry their equipment and dispose of any bait and water every time they leave the lake, before entering another harbour on the lake or going to another water body.

Overland transportation of recreational watercraft and water-based equipment is the main way zebra mussels spread.

Three decontamination units purchased by Manitoba Hydro are in place at Gimli Harbour, Winnipeg Beach and Selkirk Park. The units will operate during peak boating times. Two other decontamination units will continue to travel to high-traffic boat locations, such as Grand Beach, for the rest of the summer.

The minister also announced a new awareness campaign, “Don’t Move A Mussel”, to encourage boaters to be vigilant and check their water crafts/boats for zebra mussels.

(CKDM, CJOB)

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