Invasive Species Awareness Monitoring Program & Lake Education Ontario (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 will be supplying our program volunteers with a new sign (at right) about preventing the spread of invasive species by boater pathways.

2021 Photo contest: You can get involved with this program through the IsampleON photo contest. FOCA and our partners at ISC are calling on all Ontarians to tell them why they want to protect their waters from aquatic invasive species. Enter to win by explaining how or why you are preventing, detecting, and monitoring for aquatic invasive species in your favourite Ontario waterbody. Must provide a photo. Deadline is August 31st 2021 @ 11:59PM. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of the summer from all entries received. Enter via this survey link!

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