Boat inspection stations are expected to be active in Alberta this summer because zebra and quagga mussels destroy native aquatic ecosystems and could potentially clog municipal water treatment infrastructure and irrigation systems.  | File photo

Alberta continues to inspect boats for mussels

Province remains committed to keeping zebra and quagga mussels out of its waterways, where they can cause damage

Travel restrictions now in place due to the pandemic are likely to significantly reduce interprovincial and international traffic into Alberta but boat inspection stations are still expected to be active this summer at some border crossings. The threat that zebra and quagga mussels could inadvertently be brought to provincial water bodies on watercraft remains because […] Read more

How the snail came to enter and proliferate in the Alberta lake will likely remain a mystery because numbers indicate it has likely been quietly reproducing for several years, said Nicole Kimmel, the aquatic invasive species specialist with Alberta Environment and Parks.
 | Screencap via abinvasives.ca

Chinese mystery snail makes itself at home in Alta. lake

Don’t let it loose. Alberta Environment and Parks asks people to heed that demand as it fights to keep invasive species from affecting the province’s natural ecosystems. The directive came too late for Lake McGregor, located in southern Alberta east of Vulcan. Now the Chinese mystery snail has staked out a claim along a portion […] Read more

A California gull catches a Prussian carp that was exhibiting spawning behaviour by trying to go upstream over rocks at a Frank Lake channel near High River, Alta.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Birds, anglers take on invasive Prussian carp in Alberta

It was bird buffet at Frank Lake east of High River, Alta., this spring. Gulls, mergansers and other waterfowl filled their bellies with Prussian carp. And since Prussian carp are an invasive species, the birds are doing their part to reduce the population of these fish, which are now found in southern Alberta and parts […] Read more


Experts are testing potassium chloride to kill quagga and zebra mussels, above, before they cause damage to water systems and pipelines.  |  File photo

Pink may be the panther in future mussel tussle

MEDICINE HAT — Invasive zebra and quagga mussels have not reached Alberta’s waters yet, but the nasty species’ steady spread north from the United States and west from Lake Winnipeg has Alberta’s water users on edge. The mussels propagate quickly and can clog water systems, destroy lake and river ecosystems and cause millions in damage. […] Read more

Flea beetles have been used as a biocontrol for leafy spurge since it was introduced into Canada in the 1980s.  |  File photo

Researchers strive for biocontrols to manage invasive weeds

LACOMBE, Alta. — In the war against weeds, one of the best weapons is natural control. Plants that were introduced from other parts of the world often run out of control because there are no predators to keep them in check. Biocontrol introduces natural enemies to get rid of a targeted weed. “Biocontrol is not […] Read more


Alberta has taken steps to keep mussels out of the province, including sniffer dogs, but the invasive species are getting closer.  |  Barb Glen photo

Mussels close in on Alberta irrigation districts

Quagga mussels, an invasive aquatic species, are moving ever closer to Alberta. Larvae of the mussels, called villagers, have been found in Montana’s Tiber reservoir east of Shelby, making the nearest point of spread only 80 kilometres away from Alberta’s waterways and vast irrigation systems. Tim Romanow, executive director of the Milk River Watershed Council, […] Read more

Oscar Anderson, agricultural fieldman for the Municipal District of Ranchland, shows how a weevil damages the roots of houndstongue. It spends most of its life cycle in the plant as egg larva and pupae and overwinters in the soil. | Barb Glen photo

Hello weevil, goodbye houndstongue

KIMBALL PARK, Alta. — Hounds-tongue? What houndstongue? A search of this park, once rife with the invasive weed, turned up few samples. Those that were found bore evidence of damage from an insect specifically introduced to eat that particular weed. It was testament to a success story in weed biocontrol, a project spearheaded by Rosemarie […] Read more

Invasive phragmites from Eurasia lines thrive in a deep ditch next to a cornfield near Dresden, Ont. The species has long been identified as phragmites australis but recent research has refuted this designation, according to Dr. Janice Gilbert. It is closely related to phragmites americanus, a species that is not an environmental concern in North America.  |  Jeffrey Carter photo

Prevent phragmites from getting stranglehold

CHATHAM, Ont. — An invasive species that has spread across southern Ontario now threatens the West. Wetland ecologist Janice Gilbert told an environmental conference Oct. 21 that invasive phragmites are a significant threat to prairie pothole, wetland, river and lake environments across southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The plant, which has not yet […] Read more


There are four species of knotweed and to identify them, people need to look at the hairs under the leaves to tell them apart. This species is Knotweed Fallopia sp.  |  Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Photo

Specialists tied in knots over aggressive plant

Control options are limited for knotweed

Friends don’t give friends knotweed. That is advice Alberta Agriculture weed specialist Nicole Kimmel says gardeners should adopt. Knotweed is on the prohibited and noxious list of invasive plants in Alberta, and recent discoveries appear to be the result of gardeners in British Columbia sharing the bamboo-like weed with others in Alberta. That sharing does […] Read more

Wicket, a dog trained to sniff out quagga and zebra mussels, searches a boat while guided by handler Ngaio Richards.  |  Barb Glen photo

Nose for business keeps traffic flowing at U.S. border

It took about 20 seconds for Wicket, a specially trained dog, to find a zebra mussel hidden in a boat motor near the Coutts, Alta., international border March 20. The dog’s skill showed to advantage Alberta’s new mandatory boat inspection law, soon to be enacted. Three dogs are tasked with finding zebra and quagga mussels […] Read more