Last week was Invasive Species Awareness week in Saskatchewan, and even though the week is over, it doesn't mean the problem is.

James Villeneuve, Fisheries Project Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, described the problem species that are present in our province.

"There are some we currently have and there are some we are trying to prevent from getting in to the province. Presently we have wild boar terrestrially; we also have flowering rush which is an aquatic plant, and Prussian carp which is found in some of our western waters."

Much of the fight against invasive species comes from preparedness, awareness and prevention. Many species that are considered invasive were not released on purpose.

"One of the biggest things people can do is not release pets. If you have a goldfish and you don't want it anymore, don't take it to your local pond because it can have large economical impacts down the road. That is likely the cause of the Prussian carp scenario."

Invasive aquatic species are becoming numerous as well in the province, including zebra mussels which can threaten aquatic habitats, fisheries, recreational resources and water-based infrastructure that could cost Saskatchewan millions of dollars a year.

"If you're walking through a marsh and you get some mud on your boots, make sure you clean those boots off so you're not tracking seeds from one place to another. It is also now mandatory to pull your [boat] plug in Saskatchewan. You're going to want to do that and follow proper Clean, Drain, Dry procedure."

Clean, Drain, Dry is an awareness campaign aimed to prevent the spread of these aquatic species. Everyone hauling boats throughout the year is asked to remove all visible plants, animals and mud, and to wash, scrub, or rinse boats when finished.

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