The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)

Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

The BC Conservation Officers’ Service is warning aquarium users that supplies for their fish tanks may be harbouring some invasive hitchhikers.

A March 6 social media post from Conservation confirmed that zebra mussels, a potentially destructive species which Western Canadian provinces have gone to great lengths to keep out of their waterways, were located in a home aquarium in Terrace.

The mussels were discovered by a sharp-eyed aquarium owner in a moss ball, which are used to naturally filter and oxygenate water in fish tanks. After spotting the small mussel nestled in the moss, the aquarium owner called the RAPP line to alert conservation officers. The contaminated moss balls were purchased in a pet store; the conservation officers’ aquatic invasive species team is notifying and inspecting plant and pet stores across the province to determine whether any other moss balls containing mussels made it to B.C.

Read More: Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

Read More: ‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

The public is being asked to inspect their aquarium moss balls for any potential zebra mussels. Those who think they have found a Zebra mussel should also contact the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

According to the conservation officers, contaminated moss balls have also been found in the United States and they are working with colleagues on both sides of the border to help prevent any additional spread of the mussels.

The mussels are a concern in B.C. because of the damage they can do to ecosystems and underwater infrastructure like dams and water intakes. The mussels are not native to North America, but where they have been introduced, notably in Eastern Canada and the United States they have proved destructive.

Read More: NASA’s new Mars rover Perseverance hits dusty red road, ventures 21 feet in 1st trip

Read More: Dalai Lama receives COVID-19 vaccine

The province has had a campaign in recent years to inspect boats at B.C.’s borders with Alberta and the United States and ensure no mussels are clinging to their hulls. Boaters are also asked to clean, drain and dry off their boats when moving between bodies of water. No live zebra mussels have been found yet in any B.C. waterway.

Those who do locate contaminated moss balls are being advised to place the moss balls in sealable plastic bags and then into the freezer for 24 hours or place the moss balls into boiling water for a minute. The moss balls and any of its packaging should be placed in sealed plastic bags and disposed of in the trash. The moss balls should not be flushed down the toilet or composted. The contents of aquarium tanks should never be dumped into any residential water system or waterway.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Environment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada says the Eastern Fraser Valley will enjoy plenty of sunshine this week. (Black Press News File)
Sunny weather to stay around all week in Eastern Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope all forecasted for a week free of rainfall

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack tulip attraction open this weekend after being closed last year due to COVID-19

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Most Read