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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

School District 20 is advising the public there has been a positive case of COVID-19 at the Trail high school. Photo: Trail Times
District confirms positive COVID case at Trail high school

The person is at home self-isolating, administration advised on Wednesday

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read