Parks Canada is taking swift action to stop the spread of invasive mussels in the pristine water of Waterton Lake.

Effective immediatly all motorized boats, and boats hauled by trailers, will no longer be allowed in the lake.

Larva of the mussels has been discovered in the Tiber Reservoir in Montana, 49 kilometres away.

"We had to act very quickly," said Foothills MP John Barlow.

The ban was put in place Thursday afternoon, March 16th.

Parks Canada, with Environment Canada, were in full support of putting the ban in place.

The tourist boats that only go in the lake are allowed to stay, and canoes and kayaks, as long as they are not brought in on a trailer will be allowed.

"The tourist boats like the International is still okay because it doesn't leave that water, you can still canoe and kayak,"

"It's a hard decision, but it is the right decision. It is the headwaters for the south Saskatchewan river basin, it is pristine."

It has very unique fish habitat and plant life.

"If the zebra mussel were to get into that lake there is no known technology or pesticide to remove it. It takes over and would destroy the habitat."

Last year 500 permits were issued for motorized boats in the lake, which isn't a huge number when you consider the park had almost half-a-million visitors last year.

"We have to protect that water body. It is a gem for Alberta for sure and an important watershed and one of our precious national parks.  

The prohibition is likely to be permanent.

Barlow explained the mussels very quickly take over the water body, changing the chemistry it and clogging up dams, drain pipes and destroying the plant life.

He added In the United States they spend a billion dollars a year trying control problem in their water and if If gets into Alberta lakes it could cost 100 million dollars a year.

Barlow will be asking Environment Canada what other plans are in place to keep the Zebra Mussels out of Alberta.

"With tens of thousands of people crossing the borders, it could be impossible to get every boat that has the species hiding on it," Barlow said.

"People who are boating enthusiasts do their very best to make sure their boats and trailers are clean, but it can be impossible to get everything so the only option is to put a restriction on boating." 

More Local News

Researchers Discover High Levels of Dangerous Gas In Okotoks Homes

A new study from the University of Calgary Cummings School of Medicine has indicated a carcinogenic gas is prevalent throughout homes in Southern Alberta, including High River and Okotoks. Radon is a…

Fire Department Sees More Variety In Calls Due To Warm Weather

The Okotoks Fire Department is starting to see more variety in the calls they respond to as the weather begins to warm up. The 18 calls the department responded to in the past week included a fire…

Local Land To Be Protected Thanks To Land Trust Grants

The Province is granting $9-million to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other land trust groups for the protection of ranchlands, watersheds and river habitats in Southern Alberta. Alberta…

Northern Lights Dance Across Southern Alberta

Skywatchers might be tired today as the past few nights have left them breathless and with little sleep.Photo of Northern Lights, Courtesy of Neil Zeller Photography Solar activity over the past few…

EPCOR Repairing Water Main Break on North Railway Street

You may want to take an alternate route if you're planning on heading North on Railway St. today. EPCOR is currently reparing a water main break at 130 North Railway St., the road will remain open…

Parking Wars - The Saga Continues

Many parents at Ecole Percy Pegler and Okotoks Junior High got a $50 shock a few weeks ago. Parents have been using the alley way that runs from Okotoks Junior High off of Pacific Ave, or the Laneway…

New Tax Rule Brings Changes For Homesellers

The tax exemption remains, but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is now keeping closer tabs on principal residence sales. For now, that simply means a couple more questions to answer on tax returns.…

Town Reminding Residents To Pick-Up After Their Pets

Now that the snow is gone the surprises left behind from pets and their owners who don't clean up after them are beginning surface. This is prompting a reminder from the Town of Okotoks for people to…

Traffic Delays At Elizabeth St. and Northridge Dr.

UPDATE: Traffic signals in the area have returned to normal and traffic is moving smoothly. Traffic is slowed in the area of Elizabeth St. and Northridge Dr. as repairs to traffic lights are made.…

Popular Flour Brand Recalled Due To E. Coli Concerns

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with the federal and provincial public health departments to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O121 that's been linked to Robin Hood All Purpose Flour,…

Prices At The Pump About To Jump

If you need to fill up your tank this week, it may be wise to do it sooner rather than later. As of today, March 28, Gas prices in Okotoks are about $0.93 cents a litre, but prices expected to jump…

Rollover Cleared From Highway 2

RCMP and fire crews were on the scene of a single vehicle rollover south of High River. It happened in the northbound lanes of Highway 2 at 658 Street at the turn to go west to Cayley just around 1…

Sheep River Health Trust Receives Boost From Okotoks Ford Lincoln

The Sheep River Health Trust received a generous gift from long time supporter Okotoks Ford Lincoln. As part of the annual Together We Make a Difference Radiothon, the local auto group presented the…

Do You Think Okotoks Has The Best Library in Alberta?

The Okotoks Public Library has made the list for best library services in Alberta. The library has been nominated for the YOU Libraries People's Choice Award, and a Minister's Award recognizing…

Head Outdoors For The Hike For Hospice

Foothills residents are encouraged to embrace nature and get active for the Foothills Country Hospice's new event. The Hike for Hospice will take participants on a four kilometre journey through…

Local MLA Named To Unity Discussion Group

The make up of a Unity Discussion Group of PC's and Wildrose party members has been announced. Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier is part of the Wildrose contingent and happy he is. "As you may or may…

More Help For Rural Entrepreneurs

New tools and training are available for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural Alberta. Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous says communities are excited about the new…

Veterans Way Poplar Tree Removal Sparks Questions From Public

Many residents in Okotoks have noticed the bareness of Veterans Way after the Town removed the mature poplar trees from the road side. James Cameron, project engineer for the Veterans Way re-vamp,…

Training Ground Scouting Future Olympians In Okotoks

Calling all Okotoks and area athletes! Do you think you have what it takes to become Canada's next Olympian?Athletes at a previous RBC Training Ground event doing long jump test. (Photo Courtesy: RBC…

Cat Cafe A Chance To Visit With Adorable Adoptables

The High River Library is hosting some adorable adoptables on Monday. They are having their second Cat Cafe, with cats looking for some loving attention, from Heaven Can Wait. Director Mary…

OkotoksOnline.com is Okotoks' only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Okotoks -Our Place in History

14 January 2017 10:00 am - 20 December 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Museum & Archives





George Webber on Exhibit at Okotoks Art Gallery

18 February 2017 1:00 pm - 01 April 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





Jeff Wilson on Exhibit at Okotoks Art Gallery

18 February 2017 1:00 pm - 01 April 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





Highwood Lions Music Festival

27 March 2017 9:00 am - 31 March 2017 5:00 pm

High River United Church, High River





The DAD PROJECT: Noisemakers

30 March 2017 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Okotoks Public Library





Little Rock Show Choir presents: Rockin' the 50s Yesterday, Today, Forever!

30 March 2017 7:00 pm

Rotary Performing Arts Centre (RPAC), Okotoks





3rd Annual Art With Heart Art Sale and Gala

31 March 2017 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Dewinton Community Hall, De Winton





Login