British Columbia

Vehicle blows past inspectors at mandatory invasive mussels checkpoint

Boat inspection sites set-up at various points along B.C.'s borders have been busy checking boats for invasive mussels.

The driver was given a ticket for disobeying the law and the boat was decontaminated for having mussels

The Ministry of Environment has established mandatory inspection sites for invasive mussels. (Ministry of Environment)

A vehicle tugging a boat from Ontario flew right by inspectors at a mandatory inspection site near Elko, B.C.

The boat inspection sites are set-up at various points along B.C.'s borders to check for invasive mussels. 

"Despite the waving [by inspectors], he went by. So the owner drove past our station intentionally," said Matthias Herborg, aquatic invasive species specialist with the Ministry of Environment. 

Inspectors contacted conservation officers, who were able to track down the vehicle half an hour down the road and bring it back. 

The driver was given a ticket for disobeying the law and the boat was checked for invasive species.

It was decontaminated after inspectors found mussels. 

Zebra mussels, an invasive species, were first spotted in Lake Winnipeg in October 2013, according to the provincial government. Manitoba recently declared victory in its first battle with zebra mussels. (CBC)

High-risk boats stopped

After a pilot project last year, the government decided to set up checkpoints to look for Zebra and Quagga mussels before the boats slip into B.C. waters. 

As of May 3, they've inspected 1,225 watercrafts and 64 of them were identified as coming from a high risk province or state. 

From the pool of inspected boats, four were confirmed to have invasive mussels and seven of them were given 30-day quarantine orders. 

"It shows a lot of high risk boats are coming early in the season. Particularly snowbirds bringing boats up from Nevada and Arizona and so forth that all have mussels in them," said Herborg. 

Herborg says the goal is to raise awareness and to educate boat owners to clean, drain and dry their boats. 

He says the high risk boats that have been stopped are coming from Nevada, California, New York, Tennessee, Indiana, Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario, Arizona, and Texas.

With files from the CBC's Daybreak South.

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