This is a reminder that in our ever more connected world invasive species can arrive in and on the most surprising means.

This is also a reminder to NEVER flush or drain fish tanks in the sewer or into waterways.  Some pet fish, when released can survive and become invasive, even dead pet fish can introduce diseases, and you just never know what other hitchhikers may be present in the water.

abinvasives.ca is a great information and reporting resource for all types of invasive species in Alberta.

“Invasive mussels have been found in moss balls being sold in Alberta, and we need you to take action to prevent the introduction of this species and protect Alberta’s waters! Yesterday AEP staff discovered that a distributor in Alberta received a shipment of moss balls that originated in the Ukraine – the same place the United States also received mussel-fouled moss balls from.

Staff inspected the moss balls, and confirmed that invasive mussels were found. Hilo, our Conservation K9, was also given the opportunity to sniff out mussels on a substrate he’s never smelled before – he alerted to a mussel-fouled moss ball. The moss balls were then seized under the Fisheries (Alberta) Act.

Here’s what we need you to do to help:

  • Inspect your moss balls for invasive mussels both visually and by feeling for hard shells. Remember – they can be very small! If you think you have found invasive mussel, call our 24/7 hotline at 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT) for further instructions.
  • Place the moss ball into a sealable plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours. After this, place the moss ball and any of its packaging in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.

Please do not flush moss balls down the toilet or dispose of them in the compost. Invasive mussels pose a serious threat to Alberta’s aquatic ecosystems, fisheries and water infrastructure like irrigation canals. Never dump aquarium tank pets, plants or water into any residential water system or Alberta waterway.

Learn more about invasive mussels here:

Aquatic Invasive Species