GIMLI, MB – People in Gimli are shocked by the number of unwanted visitors popping up on their shore this year.
Zebra Mussels are popping up in alarming numbers off of Lake Winnipeg. The invasive species has been a problem in our waterways for a few years now, since popping up on boats and motors.
If allowed to get too bad, the mussels can devastate ecosystems and clog infrastructure.
Gimli Resident Cheryl Bailey says she’s stunned to see so many making it to land this summer.
“They’re so tiny that they’re just incredibly sharp. Our friend was picking pieces out of his foot with tweezers one night. He was so cut up.”
The province has pledged to fight the mussels by putting in regulations for cleaning boats but another resident, Mark Dann, says he hasn’t seen one boat washing station this year.
“The disappointing part is, what’s going to happen ten years from now. Are going to be able to even walk down the beach?”
Zebra Mussels first appeared in Manitoba waters back in 2013. They have no predators to stop them in any of our major lakes or rivers.
So far, the province says it has done 1,743 inspections and 153 water crafts have been decontaminated.