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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Schneider

Protect BC Waters

With high water well past its spring peak, local lakes and rivers are once again safe and accessible for water activities. Fishing, floating, and paddling are creeping up on priority lists. It will not be long before boats are dragged out of garages and slid from barn rafters-if Boundary residents have even waited this long! Before you start exploring lakes and rivers, take measures to protect our local waterways.

Image: Fragrant water lily (Nymphea odorata) ~Invasive aquatic plant

Clean Drain Dry is a campaign to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species. Three simple steps can protect BC waters from aquatic invasive plant and animal species: Clean any plants, animals and organic matter from your boats or other water equipment and gear, drain all water from anywhere that it may collect, and dry everything completely before moving to another water body. This prevents the transportation of invasive species between water bodies, thus protecting BC lakes and rivers!

Practicing Clean Drain Dry is a big deal. Invasive species cause significant damage to aquatic systems and can be quite difficult to treat. “An ounce of prevention is worth is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes. Unfortunately, some cure is needed. Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive aquatic plant which can be found in both Christina and Idabel lakes. It crowds out native plant species, negatively affecting fish and wildlife, and hinders human recreation and economic activities. Yellow flag iris is a species whose seeds are easily carried in water and can quickly spread along lake edges and riverbanks. They form dense mats of heavy growth which inhibit water flow and invade fish habitats.

There are also species that have not yet reached BC, and we want to keep it that way! The zebra and quagga mussels are examples of these species. They were brought to the Great Lakes in the 1980s in ballast water and rapidly spread through Canadian and US waterways. They damage aquatic ecosystems and interfere with infrastructure, costing the Canadian government hundreds of millions of dollars. Among other issues, these species crowd out native plants and animals and increase toxic algae blooms. These invasive species are extremely detrimental to the health of our lakes and rivers as well as the local and provincial economy.

For more information on aquatic or other invasive species and how you can help prevent their spread, visit our website at We can also be reached at, or 250-446-2232. We are always happy to answer questions or provide further resources! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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