CKISS Year in Review! A digital snapshot of our 2022 supporters & programs

As 2022 comes to a close we are taking a moment to reflect on the year and the funders, partners, members, and volunteers who make CKISS’ accomplishments possible!  Thank you for contributing to CKISS programs in 2022. Click on the dropdown menu below to see the 2022 CKISS Digital Photo Album:  A snapshot of our supporters & programs.

Aquatics Program Photos

Lake monitoring continues to be a vital component of the B.C. Invasive Mussel Defence Program. Between mid-June and the end of October, 2022 we collected 265 samples from local lakes and rivers in order to sample for the presence of invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena rostriformis bugenis). All samples tested negative for the presence of these invasive mussels. This is good news considering invasive mussels have the potential to negatively impact B.C.’s freshwater ecosystems and may be impossible to eradicate once established in a waterbody. CKISS recognizes the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for making a significant financial contribution to support the Preserving the Ecological Function of B.C.’s Freshwater Project. Partnerships are key to conserving B.C.’s wildlife, fish, and their habitats. CKISS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship.
For the tenth year in a row the CKISS has been conducting lake motioning in the Central Kootenays in order to detect the presence of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. In 2022, samples were taken from Upper and Lower Arrow, Kootenay, Duncan, Slocan, Summit, and Whatshan Lakes, and Columbia, Kootenay, and Slocan Rivers (upper and lower). The introduction of zebra and quagga mussels (ZQM) could have devastating environmental, economic, and social impacts in the Kootenay region and other regions in B.C. We are thankful that all the samples collected tested negative in 2022! The CKISS Mussel Monitoring Program was made possible with support from the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN). The CBWN gratefully acknowledges that the program funding is provided by Lush Cosmetics. Their support for the Network has helped to increase the impact and effectiveness of stewardship groups across the Basin.
Thanks to support from the Okanagan Nation Alliance, we were able to continue to monitor our local lakes and rivers for the presence of invasive and zebra mussels. Next to prevention early detection is key in stopping these mussels from taking hold in our region and beyond. Thanks for helping us protect our waters!
The results are in and the Central Kootenays are still Zebra and quagga mussels (ZQM) free in 2022! These mussels are unique because they have the ability to attach to hard surfaces and can survive for multiple weeks out of the water. These characteristics mean they can easily be moved between waterbodies! For this reason, monitoring our local water bodies for the presence of invasive mussels remains vital in preventing the spread of ZQM! CKISS recognizes Columbia Power for their financial contribution to the CKISS Mussel Monitoring Program and supporting healthy aquatic ecosystems!

Education & Outreach Program Photos

Thanks to funding from FortisBC and Columbia Power there are 4 Clean, Drain, Dry billboards up in the Central Kootenay region. The roadside signs act as reminders to thousands of boaters each year to #CleanDrainDry their watercraft and gear to #ProtectOurWaters from aquatic invasive species.
Thanks to funding from the Park Enhancement Fund (PEF) and collaboration with the Kootenay Native Plant Society we were able to continue restoration efforts at Beaver Creek Provincial Park. On a beautiful October morning we met students from JL Crowe High School to plant a variety of native species at the park. The PEF funding also contributed to a couple of new education signs. One sign is an interpretive sign for the restoration site at Beaver Creek Provincial Park, the other is a Play Clean Go boot brush kiosk that will be installed at a trail head in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through BC Parks in 2022.
In 2022 the Education Program was in full swing. With Covid restrictions lifted, we were able to get back to boots on the ground outreach this year. We ran numerous community weed pulls and youth field trips, gave several presentations and training workshops and our outreach booth attended various local community events. We still offered some online learning opportunities but it was a real treat to be back chatting with people face to face. One of the most popular events was a Community Weed Pull combined with a weaving workshop. Participants first removed invasive yellow flag iris from the shores of Kootenay Lake and then learned how to use weaving techniques to safely up-purpose local green waste. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia. Our Education Program was a success due to your support!
We had a jam-packed education schedule in 2022! Thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust we ran 50+ events, directly reached over 1500 people and distributed close to 3000 resources in our region. The funding also helps us with various communications efforts: CKISS website updates, social media posts, press releases and our CKISS’n Tell newsletter. Thank you Columbia Basin Trust for supporting CKISS in 2022!
In 2022 the CKISS organized three youth pulling together events which took place in Rossland, Trail and Warfield. These events were a great success, the youth participants received hands-on learning experiences on the impacts invasive plants can have on ecosystems and economies. In addition, they learn about plant ecology, proper removal and disposal techniques. These events are highly regarded and a fun way to develop environmental ambassadors. Our Youth Pulling Together program is made possible with funding from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.


Gardeners learned how to protect the Kootenays while practicing their garden design skills at the EcoGarden Design Workshop hosted by CKISS and KinSeed Ecologies. The workshop was held at the native plant demonstration garden at the Kootenay Gallery of Art. Home owners were also introduced to the EcoGarden Project through the RDCK FireSmart coordinators. As part of the EcoGarden project volunteers and students conducted restoration work at the butterfly way garden in Creston.  These collaborations were made possible through funding from the RDCK Discretionary Funds (Areas A and F) and the RDCK and RDKB CIP-APP grants program.
The CKISS coordinated and delivered four ‘Community Weed Pull’ events in the spring and summer of 2022 in Castlegar, New Denver, Glade and Nakusp. During the events, over 50 volunteers mechanically removed invasive plants from their community. CKISS then disposed the plant debris in a responsible way. These events are made possible with support from the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
In the fall of 2022 CKISS kicked off the multiyear ‘Communities Protect Freshwater Together: Riparian Restoration in the Kootenay Region project’. The overarching objective of this project is to engage and inspire the local community to help protect freshwater quality through the restoration of critical water bodies and adjacent riparian habitat within three sites in the Central Kootenay region. The three restoration sites are the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor in the Slocan Valley, Jubilee Wetland in Rossland and a wetland in Harrop’s Sunshine Bay Regional Park. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change. Ce project a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du government du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique
In the fall of 2022 the CKISS Education team delivered our STEMming with Invasive Species Program to over 180 youth from local schools and Girl Guide groups. The hands on program educates youth on the science of invasion biology, challenges them to put their engineering skills to the test and design a spongy moth trap with their team, and teaches plant ID, data collection and mapping methodologies using digital technology in an outdoor setting. We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Nous remercions le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) de son soutien.
This year CKISS coordinated a Community Science Program that helped protect Kootenay Lake from aquatic invasive species. Volunteers signed up for the program and helped monitor our lakes for the presence of invasive mussels and clams. In addition they helped survey our shorelines for the presence of invasive plants like yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife. The Kootenay Lake Community Science Program is made possible with funding by the Regional District of Central Kootenay through the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund, and support from Living Lakes Canada’s National Lake Blitz program.

Field Program Photos

In 2022, CKISS collaborated with BC Hydro to conduct invasive plant inventories and control efforts on their power line right of ways. An example of two important species that CKISS managed were scentless chamomile and plumeless thistle. These high priority species are currently not established in our region, but they have the potential to spread rapidly and displace our native populations. Thanks to BC Hydro’s support, we diligently worked towards keeping these high priority species out of the Central Kootenays!
This past year, CKISS partnered with BC Parks to conduct invasive species management at Beaver Creek, Kokanee Creek, Pilot Bay, Summit Lake, and McDonald Creek Provincial parks. Apart from exploring some of nature’s treasures while on the hunt for invasive species, a couple of our highlights included removing ~50 kg of cutleaf blackberry and ~110 kg of greater celandine from some of BC’s protected areas. We also seeded some bare, disturbed soils at two sites to suppress invasive plants and encourage the regrowth of native species. Thank you BC Parks for helping us combat the impacts of invasive species on local wildlife and recreational opportunities in these unique and beautiful places! We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through BC Parks in 2022.
This past year, CKISS collaborated with Columbia Power to conduct invasive plant management at the Arrow Lakes Hydro facility, Brilliant Dam, Brilliant Expansion, and Waneta Expansion areas. We conducted inventories and control measures on invasive plants, and surveyed for the presence of biocontrol agents on select species. Of special note, we collected baseline data of North Africa grass. We detected and removed the high priority scentless chamomile from known sites. We also confirmed the presence of biocontrol agents on plumeless thistle, and controlled plumeless thistle populations where these agents were absent. Thank you Columbia Power for your continued support of invasive plant management!
CKISS is grateful to have partnered with FortisBC Electric in 2022. We were able to inventory and control many invasive plants along FortisBC powerline right of ways. Two examples of invasive plants we were able to treat were Scotch broom and knotweed, both species threaten local biodiversity. Scotch broom is also highly flammable making it a wildfire risk, and we removed more than 200 kg of this plant from one site alone! Knotweed is an extremely problematic species that can negatively impact infrastructure, property value, and the quality of riparian and freshwater habitats. Thank you FortisBC for helping us protect our environment by combatting these invasive species!
CKISS acknowledges further support from FortisBC Energy in 2022 for invasive plant management along FortisBC gas line right of ways. Invasive plant inventories were a major focus of our work, the results of which will guide decision-makers about future management. Thank you FortisBC Energy for supporting CKISS field work and protecting the Kootenays!
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests. Your contributions supported important invasive plant management on crown land in 2022. One of the species we were able to control was marsh plume thistle, a very high priority invasive plant that can outcompete native vegetation and reduce biodiversity in wet meadow and riparian ecosystems. This year, we removed more than 500 kg of this plant from our local region! Funding from the Province of BC also supported the CKISS education program. Thank you BC Ministry of Forests for such critical support!
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Transportation. Some of the work that B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation supported was the installation of “No Mow” signs next to knotweed infestations along major roadways, which serve to inform roadside contractors to lift their blade and not mow this invasive plant so it does not spread by fragmentation. In addition, we removed select populations of Scotch broom, a highly flammable plant commonly found along roadsides, and wild parsnip, a toxic plant that can cause third-degree burns if the sap gets on your skin. Thank you BC Ministry of Transportation for helping us keep our communities safe from these harmful invasive species!
In 2022, CKISS collaborated with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect their conservation properties from invasive species. An example of the work we contributed to included conducting inventories and mechanical treatments of invasive plants in the riparian areas of a series of constructed wetlands. At these wetlands, our field technicians observed several of the endangered native Northern leopard frogs! This was a wonderful reminder about how our work contributes to improving valuable habitat for our native wildlife. Thank you Nature Conservancy of Canada for your support in improving the health of our local ecosystems!
This past year, CKISS collaborated with the City of Nelson to conduct invasive plant management throughout our local community. Some of the work we undertook included inventories and public sighting verifications of invasive plants, control of priority invasive plants, seeding priority sites with native species, and raising public awareness about invasive plant treatment sites using signage. Many thanks to the City of Nelson for helping CKISS protect their beautiful community!
We sincerely thank the Nature Trust of British Columbia (NTBC) for supporting our efforts with invasive species management in 2022. This year we were able to conduct invasive plant inventories across several NTBC conservation properties including Carroll Creek, Kidd Creek, Arrow Lakes, Stedman, Marsden Face-Rixen Creek, and Waldie Island. Additionally, in some of these sites we assisted with the control of invasive plants and restoration of native species through seeding. We also thank the NTBC for assisting us with the removal of invasive riparian plants in our Kootenay Riparian Invasive Plant Control program. Thank you Nature Trust of British Columbia for helping us protect these beautiful areas within the Kootenays!
In 2022, CKISS collaborated with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) to conduct large-scale invasive plant inventories on RDCK properties throughout the region. These sites included water treatment facilities, administration properties, fire halls, recreational centres, and parks. The data will allow the RDCK to develop future management plans. CKISS also completed invasive plant surveys and control efforts at landfill and transfer stations within the RDCK area. The high traffic use in these areas create an increased risk of spreading invasive species to other locations, so it is very important to conduct control efforts in these areas to minimize further spread. Two examples of the species we treated include Scotch broom and knotweed. Thank you to the RDCK for supporting us in stopping the spread of invasive species throughout our region!
In 2022, CKISS coordinated a noxious weed program to landowners in Area “A” of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). CKISS continues to listen to the concerns expressed by landowners with livestock and horses over the presence of invasive species such as hoary alyssum and spotted knapweed. Hoary alyssum can harm animals when ingested, whereas spotted knapweed can invade rangelands and release chemicals that make it difficult for other plants to grow, reducing the amount of food available to livestock. Thanks to the RDKB, CKISS was able to conduct comprehensive inventories of invasive plants on landowner properties in Area A, and promoted best management practices to minimize the impacts of invasive species.
This past year, the Kootenay Riparian Invasive Plant Control program was managed and delivered with financial support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation program With their support, CKISS Technicians were able to survey the Kootenay Lake shorelines by foot, canoe, and motorboat, while controlling yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife populations in sensitive riparian habitats. As part of our first year of implementing control efforts in this ongoing project, we removed ~3840 kg of invasive plants in riparian habitats! This work will contribute to the conservation of local biodiversity by minimizing the impacts of invasive plants in the riparian area, while encouraging a healthy native plant population. Thank you to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation program for supporting such an important initiative.  We gratefully acknowledge additional financial support from Columbia Basin Trust, FortisBC, Columbia Power, and Teck Metals in contributing to our Kootenay Riparian Invasive Plant Control program in 2022.


A huge thank you to Teck Metals for supporting CKISS in our invasive plant management efforts in 2022!
Thanks to support made by the City of Trail in 2022, CKISS was able to begin management of a prominent knotweed infestation in the municipality of Trail, B.C. Knotweed is a highly problematic invasive plant that has the potential to cause negative impacts to assets such as public infrastructure, property value, as well as the quality of fish and riparian habitats. A huge thank you to the City of Trail for helping us combat the impacts of invasive species in our communities!


Thanks to the financial support from Eco Canada, CKISS was able to provide an opportunity to apply one’s passion for the environment and gain valuable work experience in the field of conservation as the CKISS Field Crew Supervisor in 2022. This role provided crucial support to the field crew’s invasive plant management planning and operations over the summer, and continues to support ongoing activities during the quieter, colder seasons. Thank you to Eco Canada for supporting such an important part of our team!
Thanks to support from the Government of Canada through Canada Summer Jobs, CKISS was able to provide valuable work experience in the environmental field for youth in 2022. Throughout the summer, three Invasive Species Technicians contributed to invasive plant management, education, and habitat conservation throughout the Central Kootenay region. The funds also helped hire a seasonal Education Assistant to help us spread the words and not the weeds!
Managing invasive species can be labour intensive! We are thrilled that for the second year in a row, Nelson was home base to a Stronger BC Action team. The action teams are trained in all aspects of on the ground invasive species management including surveying, data collection, reporting, treatments and proper disposal. Thank you to the Invasive Species Council of BC for coordinating this program and to the Stronger BC Action team members for rolling up their sleeves to tackle invasive species in the Central Kootenay region.