The provincial government is increasing efforts to lower the risk of aquatic invasive species being introduced in the province.   

To prevent Zebra and Quagga mussels from entering Alberta’s lakes and waterways, the province is increasing the number of watercraft inspection stations, adding more watercraft inspectors, and calling on the federal government to conduct mandatory inspections at the United States border.  

“These invasive species pose a real and costly threat to other species living in our lakes and rivers, as well as to the water and irrigation infrastructure that we depend on for our economy and for drought and flood protection. We are stepping up to defend Alberta’s borders from these dangerous invasive species,” said Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas.  

A new aquatic invasive species task force is also being developed, that will work with partners to discuss ways to improve border protections, ways to strengthen rules and programs, and determine if stronger penalties, restrictions, or other approaches are needed.  

Zebra and quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species can be easily introduced by boats and other watercraft moving across borders and can threaten ecosystems, and cause damage to irrigation infrastructure.   

Parks Canada has recently announced that it is closing all bodies of water in BC’s Kootenay and Yoho national parks, and restricting watercraft in Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park to slow the spread of invasive species.  

All passing watercraft, including non-motorized, commercially hauled, and privately hauled watercraft, must stop at inspection stations every time, regardless of where they are travelling to or from.