OLWQS now testing Osoyoos Lake for invasive mussels

Osoyoos Times – August 7, 2018

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) has started testing the lake for the larvae of invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

The Osoyoos group is partnered in the testing of Okanagan lakes with the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS), which received a $17,500 grant from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to support the testing.

OASISS is testing Skaha, Okanagan, Wood and Kalamalka lakes and is collaborating with OLWQS in testing Osoyoos Lake.

Birgit Arnstein, president of OLWQS, said volunteers will be conducting two tests for mussels at the four locations in Osoyoos Lake where they test the water every two weeks.

The testing began in early July.

One test measures levels of calcium in the water. A decline in calcium would indicate an established mussel population because they draw calcium from the water for their shells.

The other test uses a plankton net to determine if larvae, known as veligers, are in the water. This could detect a more recent contamination.

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