The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)

Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

The BC Conservation Officers’ Service is warning aquarium users that supplies for their fish tanks may be harbouring some invasive hitchhikers.

A March 6 social media post from Conservation confirmed that zebra mussels, a potentially destructive species which Western Canadian provinces have gone to great lengths to keep out of their waterways, were located in a home aquarium in Terrace.

The mussels were discovered by a sharp-eyed aquarium owner in a moss ball, which are used to naturally filter and oxygenate water in fish tanks. After spotting the small mussel nestled in the moss, the aquarium owner called the RAPP line to alert conservation officers. The contaminated moss balls were purchased in a pet store; the conservation officers’ aquatic invasive species team is notifying and inspecting plant and pet stores across the province to determine whether any other moss balls containing mussels made it to B.C.

Read More: Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

Read More: ‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

The public is being asked to inspect their aquarium moss balls for any potential zebra mussels. Those who think they have found a Zebra mussel should also contact the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

According to the conservation officers, contaminated moss balls have also been found in the United States and they are working with colleagues on both sides of the border to help prevent any additional spread of the mussels.

The mussels are a concern in B.C. because of the damage they can do to ecosystems and underwater infrastructure like dams and water intakes. The mussels are not native to North America, but where they have been introduced, notably in Eastern Canada and the United States they have proved destructive.

Read More: NASA’s new Mars rover Perseverance hits dusty red road, ventures 21 feet in 1st trip

Read More: Dalai Lama receives COVID-19 vaccine

The province has had a campaign in recent years to inspect boats at B.C.’s borders with Alberta and the United States and ensure no mussels are clinging to their hulls. Boaters are also asked to clean, drain and dry off their boats when moving between bodies of water. No live zebra mussels have been found yet in any B.C. waterway.

Those who do locate contaminated moss balls are being advised to place the moss balls in sealable plastic bags and then into the freezer for 24 hours or place the moss balls into boiling water for a minute. The moss balls and any of its packaging should be placed in sealed plastic bags and disposed of in the trash. The moss balls should not be flushed down the toilet or composted. The contents of aquarium tanks should never be dumped into any residential water system or waterway.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Environment

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

Just Posted

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

Carter Spring
Dynamiter’s Spring ready for next challenge with Ice Wolves

Submitted by EMANUEL SEQUIERA Kimberley Dynamiter Carter Spring is ready to make… Continue reading

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2017. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt win historic decision at Supreme Court of Canada

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

Mark Skage and his son Mica during the filming of a West Kootenay episode of Start ‘em Young. Photo: Submitted
TV show films West Kootenay hunting trip

Start ‘Em Young aims to encourage kids to get out in the wilderness

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
B.C. paramedics don’t duck a chance to help someone in need

Ambulance duo end a long shift by helping a distressed duck in Victoria suburb

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
Family resumes search for son missing in B.C.’s Manning park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mother of Jordan, Josie Naterer

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

The Sandhill Cranes had been feeding in a slough near the railway tracks and took flight when were disturbed by atrain. Bob Whetham photo
Urban wildlife Part X: The Kootenay birds of 2021

The work of local photographers in the Kootenay Advertiser in 2021. Part X. With links to Parts I-IX

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Most Read