Invasive Species Awareness Monitoring Program & Lake Education Ontario (IsampleON)

2021 Photo contest: You can still participate for a chance to win a cottage prize pack valued over $175! (click the image at the side to see the prize details.) How to participate: submit a photo in the IsampleON photo contest. FOCA and our partners at ISC are calling on all Ontarians to tell us why you want to protect your waters from aquatic invasive species. Enter to win by explaining how or why you are preventing, detecting, and monitoring for aquatic invasive species (or just send us a picture of your favourite Ontario waterbody). Must provide a photo to be included in the prize draw. Deadline is September 29th, 2021 @ 11:59PM. A winner will be randomly selected from all entries received for a great lakeside prize pack. Enter via this survey link!

August 12, 2021 – our volunteers have been busy sampling and spreading educational messages about preventing the spread of invasive species at the lake, and they are now beginning to report back on the status of their on-the-ground projects, and sending us images of their accomplishments, like the ones at the side.

One group in the Township of North Kawartha reported that they got their Mayor to participate in hanging the “Help Protect our Lakes” sign at the local boat launch, and she posted a video PSA to Facebook about the importance of preventing the spread of invasive species!

Please keep sending us your updates and images to

About IsampleON:

2021 – FOCA and the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) have launched a targeted citizen science program this summer! With help from FOCA’s members across the province, IsampleON volunteers are collecting water samples from 25 selected lakes, to monitor them for invasive mussels and spiny waterflea. The lakes are in the Lake Huron, St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario watersheds, and meet the “at-risk” criteria for invasive mussels and spiny water flea invasion. The analysis of the water samples will be done by the ISC.

Volunteer Training / Q&A session:

June 16, 2021 – watch the video from our Q&A session for the program volunteers (online, 15 mins)

FOCA has supplied our program volunteers with a new sign (at right) about preventing the spread of invasive species by boater pathways.

Media coverage:

Related resources:

March 26, 2021 – Zebra/Quagga mussels found in moss ball products across Canada: Learn proper disposal and reporting (ISC)

Click here to see a time series from USGS showing the spread of Zebra Mussels, starting in 1986

For more about FOCA’s work on invasive species, visit:

A note to lake association volunteers: FOCA reminds and encourages everyone to always keep physical distancing in mind while at the lake. It is incumbent on each individual to monitor their own behaviour and volunteering activities to adhere to the latest Public Health protocols related to COVID-19

Michelle LewinIsampleON