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Aquatic invasive species in Lake Winnipeg

A family who's fished on Lake Winnipeg for more than a century has seen the impact of zebra mussels since they were first detected 10 years ago. Rosanna Hempel reports on the damage they worry other invasive species could do.

A new species is making its home in Lake Winnipeg, leaving fishers and local residents worried.

Zebra mussels are seen as an invasive species in Manitoba’s largest lake, clogging up fishing boats, nets, and ropes. The government of Canada defines the species as invasive, seen not just along Lake Winnipeg but the Red River and even the Nelson River.

On their site, it’s noted that the mussels attach themselves to solid surfaces and breed quickly. They are “filter feeders,” reads the site, and negatively impact other species by competing for their food.

“We’re kind of in the infancy of dealing with this in Lake Winnipeg, so we’re not quite sure how this is going to play out for the commercial fishing industry,” said Chris Kristjason, a commercial fisherman.

“I’m not maybe so worried about what’s happening now, but what’s coming.”

Contact EQO if you would like to learn more about this.

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