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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Battle underway to delay mussels’ westward march

Prairie effort | Officials mobilize to prevent 
the entry of invasive species into prairie waters

MILK RIVER, Alta. — Photos of zebra mussels show the mollusks blocking pipes and clinging to infrastructure. It isn’t a great mental leap to imagine them clogging Alberta’s irrigation pipes, pivots and canals or wreaking havoc in Saskatchewan and Manitoba rivers, lakes and municipal water systems. “Once they’re here, they’re impossible to eradicate,” said Bill […] Read more