Manitoba Happy Over Success of Experiment to Eradicate Zebra Mussel Invasion

Manitoba Happy Over Success of Experiment to Eradicate Zebra Mussel Invasion

The Manitoba government is happy over its experiment's success to eradicate a zebra mussel invasion in Lake Winnipeg. At least one of its harbors is now completely free from zebra mussels. Now, officials have announced that Winnipeg Beach will be reopened soon. The beach faced closure two weeks ago.

The move to shut the harbor was intended to pump liquid potash until it reached a lethal concentration for the mussels. In all, four harbors were closed to use liquid potash in them to get rid of zebra mussels. Test mussels in a nearby secure cage have succumbed to the chemical, said Rob Nedotiafko, who coordinated the treatment.

"The gated curtain at the mouth of the harbour was removed, officially signifying the end of the treatment process. It was determined late yesterday that all test zebra mussels in the harbour, through mortality testing, were confirmed dead", Nedotiafko told reporters Monday afternoon.

Nedotiafko said that results have been promising so far in the harbours at Gimli, Balsam Bay and Arnes. On May 24, the potash treatment began at Balsam Bay and at Gimli Harbour on Saturday. The curtain has not been removed from Arnes as of now.

Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh has said there was no other option for the government to keep the mussels out of Lake Winnipeg than to pump the harbors with potash. He said that the province is trying to ensure the mussels do not make a comeback in the province.

The mussels were found in Manitoba for the first time in last October. The species is known to reproduce quickly and damage the food chain, clog water pipes and create algae.

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