There are both aquatic and land based invasive species.
WHAT ARE AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES
Aquatic invasive species are non-native plants, fish and water borne organisms that can permanently and negatively change our plant habitat and watershed. Such species can take over and alter habitat that native insects, fish and wildlife depend on for growth and survival.
Invasive plants such as milfoil, yellow flag iris, flowering rush and animals such as zebra and quagga mussels rapidly change freshwater ecosystems by out competing native species and altering water quality (such as algae blooms), changing shorelines and reducing property values.
Invasive fish such as small mouth bass, dumped aquarium goldfish and live bait minnows introduce voracious predators that have faster reproductive rates that will quickly reduce the abundance of food and native fish stocks (such as trout).
The BC Mussel Defence Program has watercraft inspection stations at major entry points along BC’s borders during boating season. It is mandatory that anyone transporting watercraft of any type must stop for inspection.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
CLEAN DRAIN DRY
Invasive plants and water life can be microscopically small and are easily
transported in the nooks and crannies of boats, drains and motor coolant water.
CLEAN off plants, organisms, and mud from your boat, trailer, equipment and fishing gear.
DRAIN onto land all water from buckets, pumps, and motors and remove drain plugs
DRY all items completely before launching into another body of water.
WHAT ARE LAND BASED INVASIVE SPECIES
A quote from the Invasive Species Council of B.C.
“An invasive species is defined as an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has negative effects on our economy, our environment, or our health., Invasive species can spread rapidly to new areas and will often out-compete native species as there are no predators or diseases to keep them under control.”
Our beautiful watershed has not been spared from these plant invaders. In my yard are Oxeye Daisies and Orange Hawkweed, with Knapweed and thistles in the wooded areas. Even Bachelor Buttons and Butterfly bush can be invasive under the right conditions.
The Invasive Species Council of BC identifies many invasive plants (and some insects), gives tips on what plant to use instead and offers ideas on how to prevent the introduction of invasive species into our area. Some garden centres will sell an invasive species, not realizing the impact it may have, and invasives may hide in packages of wild seed mix.
Their website will also give tips on ways to decrease the spread of these plants and how to dispose of the plants themselves.
So just a click away is a world of information to help keep and improve our beautiful area.
LEARN more about invasive species and how to report them.