There is more evidence that zebra mussels are infesting Lake Winnipeg.
After successfully eradicating the pests from four harbours earlier this year, the province has found nine larval zebra mussels in the southeast part of the lake, including near Grand Marais.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said on Monday that the invasive species still exists outside of areas the province has previously treated.
“Further monitoring is taking place for the rest of the open water season and I’m strongly urging fishers, boaters, cottagers and other lake users to remain vigilant and report any findings,” Mackintosh said.
Sixty samples have been taken so far, resulting in nine larval zebra mussels being found in three samples taken from the southeast and eastern portion of the South Basin, including east of where the Red River enters the lake, offshore from Grand Marais and in Traverse Bay and north of where Black River enters the lake.
The province is launching a new awareness campaign called “Don’t Move A Mussel,” to encourage boaters to be vigilant and check their water crafts/boats for zebra mussels.
Mackintosh also said the Manitoba government is working to develop new, stronger laws to reduce the spread of zebra mussels, similar to those in Minnesota. New legislation would include laws about transporting water, introducing requirements to drain water before leaving a water body and requiring watercraft be transported with the drain plug removed and drain all water from boat and bait containers.