City’s Green fund:
$20,000 to tackle Zebra Mussels
Gatineau revealed the winners of its Green fund (Fonds vert) on April 8 and the second largest grant went to the Agence de basin versant des 7 (ABV des 7) for its project La moule zébrée: une menace avérée qui reste à quantifier dans les rivières des Outaouais et Gatineau. The grant is over $20,400.
With these funds, ABV des 7 will analyse the collectors installed in 2015 as a part of its Zebra mussel project, La moule zébrée : une invasion qui nous menace tous!
“The samples are in the Museum of Nature’s malacology laboratory,” said Juliette Lami of the non-profit organization ABV des 7.
Zebra Mussels are an invasive species that cause multiple problems. According to the Museum of Nature, “Zebra Mussels make beaches tricky to walk on with their shells’ sharp edges, and they displace or even eliminate native freshwater mussel species. A single Zebra female can lay more than 40,000 eggs in one cycle, and up to a million in one spawning season! By accumulating in such large numbers, they may kill pretty much any aquatic life they attach themselves to.”
Collectors that capture the mussell larvae were put in two local rivers. Nine devices to locate and quantify the mussels were installed, two in Aylmer.
“Aylmer has it all!”
“This species is already present in the Rideau Canal and in the Rideau River, and for the past two years, a few have been observed on the other side of the Ottawa River, off Aylmer”, added Ms Lami.
ABV des 7 had confirmed the presence of Zebra Mussels on three boat hulls at the Aylmer Marina and on a block of concrete that had spent the 2014 summer in Lac Deschênes.
ABV’s mandate is to protect and improve the water quality of the seven watersheds in its territory; the organization joined the Museum’s Dr André Martel to tackle the problem. Dr Martel specializes in malacology research (study of mussels) at the Museum of Nature.
ABV had also proposed a boat and trailer washing station for the public boat launch at the Aylmer Marina.
Contrary to other collaborating organizations, Gatineau did not believe a boat washing station was necessary. According to the city, “boat cleaning has not proven to reduce the spreading risk of invasive species. Some municipalities that had required certificates indicating that a boat had been cleaned before entering the water have stopped this practice for lack of results.”