Volunteers are needed next summer to continue efforts to remove an invasive species that’s threatening the health of cottage country lakes.
They’re called mysterysnails and they can add bacteria to water, damage infrastructure such as intake pipes, consume bass eggs and alter ecosystems needed for native species.
Rob McGowan leads the removal efforts for the Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program.
He says hundreds of volunteers have been part of the program since 2020. They have removed almost one million of the foreign snails, mostly from Haliburton County-and North Hastings-area lakes.
But more work is needed.
“We’re seeing numbers in these lakes that are huge,” he said. “We want to avoid all these problems. Our main concern is the biodiversity of our waterways, here in Ontario.”
While efforts have focused on the Bancroft-to-Haliburton corridor in the past, McGowan hopes to work with Ministry of Environment officials to expand the program into more areas next summer.
Details on how to get involved are on the Ontario Invading Species website. People who have concerns about Invasive Species can also call the organization’s hotline at 1-800-563-7711.