July 6, 2015


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Ice temporarily delays installation of curtain on Lake Winnipeg

Dan Butts, a consulting engineer, poses Friday with the harbour curtain to be used at  Winnnipeg Beach Friday.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dan Butts, a consulting engineer, poses Friday with the harbour curtain to be used at Winnnipeg Beach Friday. Photo Store

Ice flowing into the Winnipeg Beach harbour this morning temporarily delayed the installation of a curtain that will seal off the harbour, helping the province to begin eradicating zebra mussels.

The gate silt curtain is expected to be installed later today. Liquid potash (potassium) to kill the mussels is to be poured into the harbour tomorrow.

Zebra mussels are small, clam-like creatures that seem to spread in the blink of an eye and squeeze the life out of the rivers and lakes they inhabit. This summer, those who grapple with zebra mussels will be watching Manitoba, where officials are trying to stop an invasion with a unique experiment.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Zebra mussels are small, clam-like creatures that seem to spread in the blink of an eye and squeeze the life out of the rivers and lakes they inhabit. This summer, those who grapple with zebra mussels will be watching Manitoba, where officials are trying to stop an invasion with a unique experiment.

The province has hired ASI Group out of Ontario to kill the invasive species in four harbours in Lake Winnipeg's south basin.

Dan Butts, a consulting engineer with the company, expressed confidence that the operation would be successful. He said his firm eradicated zebra mussels from an artificial lake in Virginia several years ago.

Two local fishers today said they had no objection to the procedure since the province made arrangements to allow their boats in and out of the harbour during the treatment period.

However, one voiced concern over whether there would be sufficient monitoring to track the mussels in the future.

History

Updated on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 2:18 PM CDT: Adds images.

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