Conservation officers use dogs trained to detect invasive zebra mussels on boats, and the skill comes in handy to check decorative aquarium moss balls that may be contaminated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Conservation officers use dogs trained to detect invasive zebra mussels on boats, and the skill comes in handy to check decorative aquarium moss balls that may be contaminated. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

B.C. collects thousands of contaminated aquarium moss balls

Boat checks next in battle to stop invasive zebra mussels

A public warning about aquarium moss balls has led to the collection of nearly 3,000 “confirmed or suspected” to be contaminated with invasive zebra mussels.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service first warned in early March of the contaminated items, sold as “Marimo moss balls” for house plants or aquarium plants. Lab-confirmed or suspected contaminated moss balls have since been found mostly in the Lower Mainland, as well as Invermere, Terrace, Kamloops and on Vancouver Island.

Conservation officers contacted more than 1,100 pet stores, garden centres and other retailers, and the suspected items were either surrendered or seized. It’s the latest effort to stop the invasive species from entering lakes and rivers, where they can affect fish populations as well as hydro power stations and other infrastructure. There have been no reports of live zebra mussels being introduced into B.C. waterways as a result.

“Several people have reported finding what they believed were zebra mussels in their home aquariums,” the service said in a statement April 1. “Investigations have linked some potentially contaminated moss balls to international shipments.”

The annual battle against zebra mussels moves to its usual target next, with inspection of out-of-province boats that may be bringing them into B.C. on their hulls and bilges. Checkpoints are set up each summer at popular boat launches to inspect and clean boats that may be contaminated.

RELATED: Aquarium users warned after mussels found at pet store

RELATED: 10 zebra mussel-fouled boats found in B.C. in 2020


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Essie Boelema, a 17-year-old lavender farmer, is passionate about the plant. (Screenshot/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Langley lavender growers say season soon to be in full bloom

Family-owned farm marks five years by preparing for a summer of sales, tours, and growth

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Work was underway on the interior of the new Tennis Centre location in Langley. Popularity of the sport has risen during the pandemic (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Tennis business expands into Langley

‘Busiest we’ve ever been’ says manager

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Most Read