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Invasive Species Awareness Week – April 22-28

Posted on: April 23, 2019  |  

The Manitoba government has proclaimed April 22 to 28 Invasive Species Awareness Week, and is continuing efforts to make the public aware of the negative effects invasive species can have on our environment, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“We all have a role to play in protecting this beautiful province and we have a responsibility to take action now to protect our waterways, forests and landscapes,” Squires said.  “This week is a step toward making sure all Manitobans are aware of how invasive species affect our environment and what we can do to make sure our environment is healthy for generations to come.”

Manitoba has been working to raise public awareness of invasive species for decades and remind Manitobans of the constant threat they pose.  From the emerald ash borer (EAB) to the cottony ash psyllid, forest invasive species (FIS) threaten trees while aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels, spiny waterflea and rusty crayfish, threaten aquatic ecosystems.  The annual cost of controlling invasive species in Canada runs in the billions of dollars, so the importance of prevention cannot be underestimated, the minister added.

The emerald ash borer has been found in Winnipeg and the city has been designated as a regulated area by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  Firewood of any species, ash nursery stock or any kind of ash wood cannot be moved in or out of Winnipeg without permission from CFIA.  While Dutch elm disease (DED), an invasive fungal disease, has been successfully managed in many areas in the province, EAB is proving to be much more difficult to control.  The key to defending Manitoba’s trees from this invader is prevention and early detection.  In conjunction with Invasive Species Awareness Week, ash trees at the Legislative Building grounds will be banded highlighting the trees that are at risk now that emerald ash borer is in Winnipeg.

Zebra mussels, one of Manitoba’s most concerning aquatic invasive species, have been confirmed in a few Manitoba waterways.  They were first reported in Lake Winnipeg in 2013.  The small, clam-like animals have cost the North American economy billions of dollars to control, Squires noted.  Adult mussels can attached firmly to surfaces such as watercraft, trailers and water-related equipment like anchors, and larvae (veligers) which are too small to see without a microscope, can survive in small amounts of water and may be transported by un-drained watercraft and equipment like bait buckets.  The annual watercraft inspection program will soon be up and running, and provincial staff will be answering questions and handing out information about AIS on Sunday, April 28 at Fort Whyte Alive.

Water-users such as boaters and fishers are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.  Before leaving any body of water, take the proper steps to remove aquatic plants and invasive species; drain all water and remove drain plugs before transporting watercraft over land; dry all equipment and surfaces before placing in another water body; and dispose of all bait used in a control zone water body in the trash prior to leaving the shore.

Failure to comply with the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulation can result in a pre-determined or set fine.  Fines are in effect in Manitoba year-round and carry a range of penalties, depending on the offence.  Fines range from $174 to $2,542.  For example, the set fine for an individual failing to remove drain plugs while transporting watercraft over land is $237.

For more information on invasive species, visit www.gov.mb.ca/stopthespread.

 

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Hello WCA, Here are the new items for today. It’s a short update for today.- TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail.Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 28, 2022 A local state of emergency has been declared for Whiteshell Provincial Park on May 20, 2022 due to rising water levels within the park. Developed areas at Betula Lake were closed on May 21, 2022. This closure area was expanded (May 24) to include Sylvia Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake areas. No person should reside or enter into the closed area. Please visit the Manitoba Parks Website www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/ to see a map of the closure. This applies to all cottage subdivisions, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches with within the order area. During the closure no person should reside or enter into the closure area of the park. Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River. Water continues to rise significantly along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system (Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as Pointe du Bois) as water moves downstream from Lake of the Woods. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions along the river. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast. Manitoba Hydro is predicating an increase of water levels from the current high water over the next 10 to 14 days, as follows: • 6 inches upstream of Eight Foot Falls. • 10 inches in Nutimik Lake. • 9 inches in Dorothy Lake. • 11 inches in Margaret/Eleanor Lake. • 1 foot in Sylvia Lake. • 8 inches upstream of Silver Falls. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Rising water levels and rapidly evolving conditions pose a significant risk to public safety. Manitoba Parks continue to monitor safety and water levels inside the closure area, additional safety measures may be applied if required. Manitoba Parks has been contacting all permanent residents in the closure area. If you have not been contacted by Manitoba Parks staff to register, please call the parks line at 204-340-6769 and leave a message with your name, lot, block, subdivision, and ask to be added to the permanent residents list. You will then be called back to register. Water levels improvement are being seen in all areas south of the Winnipeg River. Falcon, West Hawk, Star, Caddy, Brereton, White, and Jessica Lakes are reporting a decrease today.Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible. This includes monitoring structures for blockages. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in the event of further damage to the seawall. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. There are a limited number of pre-filled bags at the Jessica Lake and Pointe du Bois depots. PR 307 from the west park entrance to the PR307/309 junction, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed to all traffic. PR 309 near Meditation Lake is restricted to local traffic only. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling. You can call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone. Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. White Lake Block 4 is closed to vehicle use. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk, and Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. The following boat launches are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: 8 Foot Falls, Big Creek, White Lake, Jessica Lake, South Shore Big Whiteshell, and Toniata. West Hawk and Falcon Beach Campground Boat launches have been re-opened. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park. Please use caution and courtesy when boating. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Please be advised that you cannot visit the closed area of the park by boat. Access is not allowed to your cottage or recreational areas via the Winnipeg River. No landing in the closed area is allowed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational motor boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of the shoreline on: West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Brereton, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor Lakes, and the shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision in Whiteshell Provincial Park. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. The following hiking trails are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground) and Hunt Lake. TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail. All backcountry campsites in Whiteshell Provincial park are closed due to flooding, high water conditions and frequently changing portage conditions. Campers should check the Manitoba Parks homepage for the status of campgrounds prior to coming to the park. Several campgrounds have full or partial closures. All campground in the closure area will remain closed until this portion of the park reopens (Dorothy Lake, Opapiskaw, Nutimik Lake, and Otter Falls). In addition, White Lake Campground is closed (seasonal and nightly) and nightly camping is closed in Big Whiteshell Campground. Phone Numbers/ Websites:• Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily. • To report an emergency please contact the RCMP via 911 if located in the South Whiteshell, 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell, and 204-345-8685 in Pointe du Bois. • Camping Information 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service. • Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497. • Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca • Manitoba Parks: manitobapark.com for a list of other closures.• Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2022/05/manitoba_hydro_advises_extreme_caution_on_waterways/• DFA Information: www.gov.mb.ca/emo/dfa/residence.html, dfa@gov.mb.ca or by phone at 204-945-3050. ... See MoreSee Less
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Kelly Jones – “Hi. This dock has floated its way over to Moonlight Bay at WestHawk lake. Our neighbor has secured it and we are hoping to find its owner as I’m sure they would like it back! Can you please post?” ... See MoreSee Less
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Confirmed again this morning that the Winnipeg River Forecast from Hydro yesterday HAVE factored in the anticipated rainfall over the next few days. ... See MoreSee Less
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Betula Lake Page ( Ashley Desjardins) –“Another one from Stefanson. (Premiers visit earlier)I think I’ve labeled it correctly. Not sure how that highway is going to survive this. ” ... See MoreSee Less
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Sheila Dancho –“Pictures of Nutimik Island on May 21.” ... See MoreSee Less
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