Community Members Needed to Monitor for Invasive Mussels and Clams
Summerland, BC – The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) is launching a
citizen science initiative to help monitor for zebra and quagga mussels, and Asian clams in Okanagan
The project offers two types of volunteer positions during the months of August and September that
involve community members in aquatic invasive species detection.
The first position seeks homeowners who have private docks on Kalamalka, Wood, Okanagan, Skaha,
Vaseux and Osoyoos lakes to monitor for zebra and quagga mussels. Volunteers will receive a pair of
mussel monitors to be attached to their docks and will be required to check them every two weeks.
“Our society has been checking for invasive mussels for eight years, however, this initiative will greatly expand our efforts to regions of the lakes that were previously inaccessible,” says Lisa Scott, Executive Director of OASISS.
The citizen science initiative also offers an opportunity for shoreline surveys looking for Asian clams
along Osoyoos Lake. “Asian clams are already established on the Washington side of Osoyoos Lake,” states Scott. “The shoreline surveys will allow us to monitor and protect this high risk lake from further infestations on the Canadian side.”
Invasive mussels and Asian clams are not known to occur in the Okanagan valley. If they were to arrive
they could cause irreversible damage. In regions where they are already established, invasive mussels
and Asian clams damage sensitive ecosystems, clog intake pipes and water infrastructure, affect water
quality, impact tourism and the local economy.
“We are extremely concerned about the possibility of invasive mussels or Asian clams arriving here,”
says Scott. “It’s imperative as a community to do everything in our power to protect our lakes from an