Prevention for Boaters and Watercraft Owners
Water-based recreation activities, such as angling, boating, and diving, can spread aquatic invasive species to new locations. Plants, animals, and microscopic creatures can cling to clothing, equipment, and boats. If not cleaned off, these species can be spread into new bodies of water. Once established, aquatic invasive species can impact freshwater ecosystems, drinking water, tourism, and even the economy!
When it comes to aquatic invasive species, the ecological balance of our lakes and rivers is at risk, and so is our drinking water. Prevention of harmful new invasions is the first priority.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:
CLEAN off all plants, animals and mud from your watercraft, trailer and gear. If a power washing station is available, use it.
DRAIN (on dry land) all water from your watercraft, trailer and gear (e.g. buckets, well, bilge, ballast etc.)
DRY all parts of your watercraft completely before launching into another body of water.
Remember, this goes for all types of watercraft and gear—canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, paddles/oars, life jackets, etc.—not just motorized boats!
B.C. Aquatic Invasive Species Inspector decontaminating a boat
Help us keep B.C. waterways clear of zebra and quagga mussels. Report suspected contaminated boats carrying invasive mussels that may be travelling from out-of-Province to the RAPP line
Bringing your Watercraft to BC
If you’re bringing your boat from out-of-province, it is mandatory requirement that you stop and report to all invasive mussel inspections stations along your travel route. Prior to coming, contact the Provincial Program at COS.Aquatic.Invasive.Species@gov.bc.ca to determine if your boat is HIGH-RISK and should be decontaminated for possible zebra or quagga mussel presence before accessing B.C.’s lakes and rivers. It’s free! Do not launch the boat into any B.C. waters until you have received instruction from a B.C. Provincial Aquatic Invasive Species Inspector.
Learn about how invasive mussels could affect the Okanagan through an interactive video.
Learn frequently asked questions about invasive mussels.
Learn how you can integrate invasive species prevention into your everyday work.
Invasive mussel resources for businesses and organizations that can be used for staff training, on social media, websites, newsletters, and more.
For tips on how to identify, prevent, treat and report invasive species, visit Okanagan Invasive Species Online
For more information on invasive mussels, visit
For more information on BC's Invasive Mussel Defence Program, visit the government of BC website.