The Manitoba government says its experiment to eradicate a zebra mussel invasion in Lake Winnepeg appears to be successful, at least in one of its harbors. Officials say Winnipeg Beach will be reopened after it was closed two weeks ago. The harbor was one of four that was sealed off with a silt curtain and pumped through with liquid potash until it reached a lethal concentration for the mussels.
Rob Nedotiatko, who coordinated the treatment, says test mussels in a nearby secure cage have all died. “The gated curtain at the mouth of the harbor was removed, officially signifying the end of the treatment process,” Nedotiatko told reporters Monday afternoon. “It was determined late yesterday that all test zebra mussels in the harbor; through mortality testing, were confirmed dead.”
Because the mussels in the cage died, officials are assuming the ones not in the cage are dead as well. Nedotiatko said so far, the signs are promising for the harbors at Gimli, Balsam Bay and Arnes. The potash treatment began at Balsam Bay on May 24th and at Gimli Harbor on Saturday, while a curtain is currently being installed at Arnes. The province says the liquid potash treatment in open water, in a lake environment, is the first of its kind.
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