County takes steps to protect lake

Robert Nygaard

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is supporting a provincial organization that helps protect bodies of water from invasive species.

At its regular meeting Oct. 25, council approved a recommendation to sponsor $2,000 to the Alberta Invasive Species Council as recommended by Vic Abel, director of public works.

There is a threat to Lesser Slave Lake from zebra and quagga mussels, a variety of aquatic prohibited noxious weeds and invasive fish being found throughout the province,” Abel says.

For that reason, council endorses the support.

I think this is important, to prevent mussels from coming in the lake,” Faust Councillor Robert Nygaard says.

Another council member adds it will help protect the lake.

If they get into the lake, it’s devastating,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.

Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Donald Bissell says watercraft at boat launches were being sprayed with water to prevent boats from carrying the invasive species.

Funds for the council will be provided in the 2018 budget, Abel notes.

The Alberta Invasive Species Council is a non-profit group that is focused on the control and prevention of invasive species, such as plants, vertebrates, invertebrates species that threaten our ecosystems, lakes, farmland and environment,” Abel says in the report.

Should council choose to support AISC, we recognize the unique threat to our area those species present and take a proactive approach to dealing with the issue.”

The county has utilized AISC information sheets to distribute to ratepayers with weed notification letters for at least three years.

We are fortunate to have this resource at our disposal,” Abel says.

Two prohibited noxious weeds have been found in the county since June.

After two years with no wild boar, three sets of ears have been turned in within the last two months,” Abel says.

Information developed by AISC is used across the province by resource managers, industry leaders and concerned Albertans. The success and outreach of AISC is dependent on corporate, government and private sponsorship.

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