The BC Government hopes to catch more invasive species before they travel through the East Kootenay to the entire province.
Three million dollars was announced for new tools to fight zebra and quagga mussels across the province, including funding for a new border inspection station in Yahk.
Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett says this means more jobs for the region and less mussels in local waterways.
He says mussel checking stations got their start in the Kootenays.
“We were the first area to have a cleaning station, The Columbia Basin Trust was all over that a few years back,” Bennett says. “We’ve been kind of leading the way in the East Kootenay with this program and obviously, we have lots of important angling waters, natural fish waters that we don’t want to get contaminated with zebra mussels.”
Bennett says a lot of boat traffic comes through the Kootenay region and its important to catch zebra and quagga mussels at the border before they spread.
Mussels significantly alter local ecosystems and can result in the collapse of native fish populations.
They can also clog pipes and water systems and affect hydroelectric dams.
A total of 35 new inspection officers will be hired through the funding.
– Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett
– Jeff Johnson