Riding Mountain National Park has taken significant steps through the Clear Lake Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) project to prevent aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels from entering waterways in the park. The aquatic invasive species inspection program has completed over 10,000 inspections between spring 2015 and fall 2017 in RMNP.

All motorized and non-motorized watercraft entering RMNP waters are required to undergo an inspection for AIS. The service is free of charge and watercraft passing inspection will receive a permit from Parks Canada watercraft inspectors. 100% compliance is necessary to ensure the ecological integrity of park waterways as it only takes one contaminated watercraft to transport zebra mussels and other AIS into park waters.

We have partnered with the four western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC) to share information and support each other in the fight against zebra mussels, and with Manitoba Sustainable Development on general AIS concerns. Every year since 2015, RMNP staff took water samples in park lakes and lakes in areas surrounding the park. The samples are sent to the Department for Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to be analysed for zebra mussel eDNA (environmental DNA) and veligers (larvae). Water samples taken in 2015 and 2016 tested negatively for zebra mussel eDNA and veligers.

In 2017, water samples from Whirlpool Lake tested positive for zebra mussel eDNA. It is important to note that live zebra mussels have not been found in Riding Mountain National Park and eDNA does not confirm a viable population. Whirlpool Lake will remain closed until further notice. Parks Canada staff will continue to monitor and test park waters regularly.

For information on our current prevention program, visit: Boating & Paddling

Important links:

Fact Sheet – Get Your Watercraft Checked for AIS!

Brochure – Keep Zebra Mussels Out of Riding Mountain National Park (PDF, 5.9 MB)

Infographic – Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out of RMNP!  (PDF, 1.2 MB)

 

Info Bulletin – July 5, 2016 – Mandatory Watercraft Inspections for Aquatic Invasive Species in Riding Mountain National Park

News Release – February 29, 2016 – Riding Mountain National Park Takes Precautions Against Zebra Mussels (Clear Lake Boat Launch Consolidation)

News Release – May 25, 2015 – Parks Canada Taking Action Against Zebra Mussels in Riding Mountain National Park

For more information on aquatic invasive species, please visit: http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/stopais/