Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
Aquatic invasive species are non-native plants or animals that can have negative impacts on our health and threaten commercial, agricultural, aqua-cultural or recreational activities dependent on lakes and rivers in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
Aquatic invasive species can spread quickly and can live out of water for up to 30 days. Once introduced to a waterbody, they are virtually impossible to eradicate. Aquatic invasive species can not only damage your boat and equipment, but can cause millions of dollars in damage by to infrastructure by clogging power plant and water intakes as well as irrigation piping and canals.
What Can You Do?
People play an important role in protecting waterways from aquatic invasives. Everyone that enjoys lakes and rivers needs to be proactive about keeping our aquatic ecosystems safe. If you are using your boat in a number of different waterbodies, or especially if you bring a boat from another province or state, make sure to clean, drain and dry your boat and equipment.
CLEAN: Clean and inspect watercraft, trailer and gear. Remove all plants, animals and mud at the access area or dock. At home, soak your gear in a 2% bleach solution for one minute (20 ml of bleach per litre of water). Rinse, scrub or pressure wash your boat away from storm drains, ditches or waterways.
DRAIN: Drain all water from bait buckets, coolers, livewells, bilges, ballasts, transom motor and internal compartments on land before leaving the waterbody. Never release live bait into a waterbody or transfer aquatic plants or animals from waterbody to another. For paddle boats, drain by inverting or tilting the watercraft, opening compartments and removing seats if necessary.
DRY: Dry the watercraft and gear completely between trips and allow the wet areas of your boat to air dry. Leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.
For more information or to report something suspicious on your boat or equipment, call:
ALBERTA: 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT).
MONTANA: 406-TIP-MONT (406-847-6668)
BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1-888-933-3722
Crown Managers Partnership Efforts on Aquatic Invasive Species
Invasive species are one of the seven Ecological Health Project indicators, both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species are included in invasive species indicator.
The CMP has chosen aquatic invasive species (AIS) as the first indicator for which we will define a desired trans-boundary outcome for the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (CCE) and the inter-jurisdictional trans-boundary protocols to achieve that outcome. Work is currently underway on the trans-boundary protocol with amibitions for this to come into effect the fall of 2013.
Regional outcome: The CCE remains free of infestation by the most devastating AIS that are already present in much of North America and are causing severe negative environmental, economic and social impacts.
Objective: Keep the CCE lakes, rivers and streams free of zebra and quagga mussels and eurasian water milfoil.
Indicators: Eurasian Water Milfoil, Zebra and Quagga mussels.
Standard: Zero presence
Approach: An initial pilot AIS prevention strategy is being developed and implemented in the Alberta portion of the CCE as there was no AIS prevention strategy in place. The pilot project began with an AIS risk assessment workshop that was held in Waterton in the fall of 2012 that would lead to the development of a five pronged strategy entailing: communications, education and outreach; inspections; monitoring; legislation, policy and planning; and establishing a 1-800 number. Currently the Alberta AIS program is operating in the SW portion of the province and is staying connected with Montana and British Columbia in their AIS prevention efforts.
Implement an initial AIS strategy in the Alberta portion of the CCE.
Draft a trans-boundary protocol for the CCE, based on the Alberta, Montana and B.C. experiences.