Thanks to swift action by Ministry of Environment inspectors and conservation officers, a boat contaminated with invasive zebra mussels was intercepted at a watercraft inspection station near Moosomin, Saskatchewan on August 30, 2021.
Conservation officers determined the boat owner was a resident of Alberta who had recently purchased the boat in Manitoba. The boat was moved to Langenburg for decontamination, and a warning of non-compliance was issued to the owner for failing to ensure proper decontamination. The incident is still under investigation.
“Our inspectors have examined more than 2,000 boats this year,” said Jeri Geiger, aquatic invasive species (AIS) coordinator at the Ministry of Environment. “To protect Saskatchewan’s waters from aquatic invasive species, it’s critically important that you check your boat for zebra mussels and other invasive species.”
Aquatic invasive species are plant, animal, and invertebrate species that can devastate aquatic ecosystems, damage habitats, and ruin infrastructure. Roadside inspection and decontamination are key features of the Government of Saskatchewan’s AIS program, along with the Clean, Drain, Dry program for watercraft, and the ongoing monitoring of provincial waterbodies.
It is important for boat owners to research and understand regulations for using and transporting watercraft, especially when moving across provincial and national borders. Owners who fail to properly decontaminate their watercraft face potential fines and seizure of their boats and vehicles. They also risk the accidental introduction of AIS to the province.
Jurisdictions with AIS often have additional regulatory requirements for moving watercraft, and permits may be required to leave a controlled zone. To find out if your watercraft is high risk and requires an AIS inspection, call the ministry’s Inquiry Centre at 1-800-567-4224.