An invasive species of mussel discovered in Lake Témiscouata

Invasive species of mussel discovered in Lake T&émiscouata


The discovery of live zebra mussels in Lake Témiscouata, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, was confirmed Monday by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP). This is the first mention of this invasive species in this region of Quebec. 

It was located by the Saint John River watershed organization (OBVFSTJ), at following a citizen's mention, and was confirmed by the Direction de la gestion de la faune du Bas-Saint-Laurent.

“The state of the situation at Lake Témiscouata is being analyzed by our teams deployed in the field. An action plan will be established in collaboration with regional stakeholders with the aim of monitoring the situation and preventing the dispersal and introduction of the species into other lakes in the region that have favorable conditions for proliferation of zebra mussels,” the MFFP said in a statement.

An information meeting will be organized during the fall to answer questions from citizens, it was specified.

Material damage and injuries

The presence of zebra mussels is generally associated with a deterioration in the quality of aquatic habitats. The species can be responsible for material damage to the boats and infrastructures it colonizes, such as wharfs, dams and municipal drinking water intakes.

These molluscs can also harm resorts causing injury to swimmers when sharp shells accumulate on beaches. the Ministry which emphasizes that “preventive measures must be put in place to prevent the spread of this species in other bodies of water”. Cleaning boats and all equipment that comes into contact with water is the main measure to slow the spread.