Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced the beginning of Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness week this morning from the edge of Wascana lake Wednesday morning.
The government has two invasive species on their radar going into this year’s boating season, with zebra mussela and larval mussels both being watched for by Conservation Officers.
Duncan explains why the province is doing so much to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering Saskatchewan’s waters.
“They’re really impossible to remove once they are established in a water source, they can have a significant impact on infrastructure, any hydro-electric dam, irrigation systems, they really are a significant problem,” Duncan says. “The costs would be in the tens of millions of dollars if we have the establishment of aquatic invasive species.”
Duncan says if other invasive species become a problem, the ministry will be able to start checking for them quickly.
“We’ve also made changes to our regulations that will allow a more timely designation of other species through some changes we’ve made recently that in the event there are other species we need to be mindful of and put on our list, we have the ability now, in a much more timely way to do that.”
While Saskatchewan may not have any invasive species at this time, Ontario and Manitoba have reported zebra mussels, as well as some states reporting other invasive mussel species.