CSISS Ready to Tackle Zebra Mussels Testing

The season of watersports has arrived, and the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is ready.

On a sunny day at Williamson Lake, Executive Director Robyn Hooper, Outreach Coordinator Kim Kaiser, Aquatics Coordinator Sue Davies and Field Coordinator Laura Gaster taught three new assistants the ins and outs of testing for zebra mussels.

Thanks in part to the hard work of the society and other groups, the invasive muscle has yet to be found in BC or Alberta. Part of staying on top of the risk is sampling the lakes of the region for the zebra mussels.

“Williamson is one of the lakes we sample,” explains Kaiser. “Today we are training all the different steps involved with testing for invasive species in our aquatics program.”

The new hires are currently doing secchi tests, which measures the clarity of the water, and plankton tows, which samples the water for the larvae stage of the zebra mussels.

Two of the three new hires are post secondary students; one is newly graduated. “CSISS received funding through Canada Summer Jobs for two of the assistants,” says Hooper. “One came with her own funding.”

All three are young women, working to help keep the biodiversity of the region healthy and in tact. “It’s nice to hire young women in science,” notes Hooper.

The CSISS office is based in Revelstoke, but the employees and volunteers work throughout the region. From zebra mussels to invasive plants, the CSISS will be in action for the next several months.



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