Last spring, the Lake Diefenbaker Task Force Against Aquatic Invasive Mussels (commonly known as the shortened Lake Diefenbaker Task Force) was organized to serve as an educational and pro-active group aimed at keeping the waters and the shores of the region’s most popular lake clean. Specifically, clean from invasive species such as zebra mussels, which have the capacity to do irreversible damage to any large body of water.
Recently, the group issued a January 2019 newsletter informing people of what the Task Force had accomplished in 2018.
Those include the following:
- “Our Citizens on Patrol include our 9 communities on the lake (Town of Outlook, Village of Elbow, Lakeside RV Park, RV of Mistusinne, Village of Riverhurst, Palliser Regional Park, RV of Beaver Flat, OH of Hitchcock Bay) who donated a total of $9,000 – plus our 13 perimeter communities (RV’s of Thode and Shields, Town of Dundurn, Town of Hanley, Village of Strongfield, RM and Village of Loreburn, Town of Central Butte, Village of Lucky Lake, RM of Canaan, Village of Beechy, Hitchcock’s Hideaway, RM of Coteau) who donated a total of $2,380. These communities have erected our signs, attended our training sessions, and distributed our information. These volunteers watch for out-of-province vehicles towing boats and, if necessary, urge drivers to visit inspection locations. Citizens on Patrol represent 3,000 pairs of eyes on alert around our lake.
- Our Inspection and Decontamination Program began in 2018 with the Ministry of Environment training 11 of our volunteers in the inspection process and with the purchase of 2 decontamination units that will be on site and ready to go at Elbow and Palliser for 2019.
- Our regular updates to our Citizens on Patrol, our sponsors, and the Ministry of Environment.
- Our demonstrated effectiveness in 2018 when reports from our Citizens on Patrol resulted in the interception, inspection, decontamination and quarantine of two infected watercraft. Without the LDTF, Lake Diefenbaker would have become infected in 2018.”
The group feels that the highest risk to the lake are boaters who aren’t launching through gated communities or those launching in an area with no Citizens on Patrol nearby. To that end, the Task Force is applying for a grant and soliciting funds in order to hire some summer students who would speak with boaters and be trained in the inspection and decontamination process.
In 2019, the Task Force also hopes to see more communities get on board, as well as more of an ongoing commitment from those already involved.