A new mobile boat cleaning station has been installed in Shoal Lake #39 to help prevent the introduction of new invasive species into the waters.  

It was announced on April 29, that Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation (Shoal Lake #39) has received a CD3 mobile boat cleaning station, the first of its kind in Ontario and the third in all of Canada.  

The boat cleaning station will support the community by helping to stop the introduction of invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, into the surrounding lakes and rivers.  

Invasive species is an organism that causes, or is likely to cause, serious ecological or social harm to its environment. They reduce the diversity of plant and animal species and can put the native species at risk.  

Aquatic invasive species pose a serious risk to the environment, they can carry pathogens that can cause illness and disease to native species. Invasive species also add competition to the ecosystem for food causing naturally occurring populations to struggle for food.  

Colin Cassin, Invasive Species Policy Manager at the Invasive Species Centre, explained the importance of the cleaning station, “Shoal Lake is an important waterbody because of its ecological importance and its reputation as an angling destination.”  

“Also, Northwestern Ontario is an important region for invasive species prevention because it is the 'leading edge' of the invasion for many aquatic invasive species that are already established in Southern and Central Ontario.” 

He concluded, “We want to stop the spread of these species and with the high return on investment delivered through prevention, efforts like these will ensure our environment and economy are protected from the many costs of established invasive species.” 

The CD3 mobile boat cleaning station provides boaters with a way to thoroughly clean their watercraft and related equipment of any possible aquatic invasive species.  

The unit contains a wet/dry vacuum, air compressor, three hand tools, and lighting for public use. The entire station is powered by solar panels and it is remotely monitored by sensors. 

This project, in partnership with Shoal Lake #39, the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry Kenora District, and the Invasive Species Centre, was made possible through funding support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada via the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk. 

Since the introduction of the Invasive Species Act in January of 2022, it is mandatory for all watercraft owners to clean, drain and dry their watercraft and related equipment after each use to prevent the spread of invasive species.