Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Dogs To Sniff Out Invasive Mussels


According to an Alberta, Canada press release, sniffer dogs will soon lend a nose to mandatory boat inspections to help fight against zebra and quagga mussels. The new, full-time crew of canine inspectors is being recruited after passage of Bill 13, the Fisheries (Alberta) Amendment Act. Inspection locations will be planted at commercial vehicle weigh stations throughout the province, as well as main points of entry, and will be funded by the provincial government and the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association.

“Aquatic Invasive Species are one the largest threats facing Alberta’s waterways and biodiversity,” says Kyle Fawcett, minister of environment and sustainable resource development. “The inclusion of mandatory boat inspections and sniffer dogs to our Aquatic Invasive Species program are essential tools in our arsenal against a zebra and quagga mussel infestation.”

The government says the ongoing infestation of zebra and quagga mussels risks clogging the province’s pipes, which would cost about $75 million a year to fix, according to a Calgary Herald article.

Last summer, Working Dogs for Conservation performed a successful pilot inspection with dogs Wicket, Lily and Orbee. The canines will be focusing on Albertans returning home from the mussel-infested southern United States.