Potash, the manufactured water soluble salt or potassium, is a key ingredient in fertilizers. It will soon become a key ingredient along the shores of Balsam Bay, Arness Harbour, Gimli & Winnipeg beaches as the province of Manitoba seeks to deal the zebra mussels a crushing defeat if not total eradication in these parts. It should be noted that this will be the first time anyone has dumped potash into an open waterway. However, as the adage goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. At least the provincial government has a scientific recommendation backing them. They had convened a science advisory panel to discuss options for dealing with the zebra mussels and potash was the best thing they came up with.
The applications are set to begin promptly with the hopes of being completed ahead of the start of the fishing season. The process will formally begin this month or in early June and last a fortnight (14 days). Zebra mussels are a pernicious invasive species which attach themselves to boats and spread along waterways and shores. They choke off the supply of plankton to other species, give rise to algae growth, and eventually cause blockages in water pipes. They were already discovered in Lake Winnipeg this past fall.
By being designated an invasive species, anyone is allowed to kill them at will no questions asked. The species has been in Canadian Great Lakes for several years now and have been causing damage as per their well-earned reputation. They also made their way into neighboring North Dakota. Fisherman and recreational boaters are urged to examine their vessels before launching them into the water to prevent the spread of mussels in the environment. Manitoba has been attempting to eradicate mussels for several years. Hopefully, the potash will prove to be the game changer that is needed.