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

2021 Photo contest: Congratulations Jade, the IsampleON Photo Contest winner! And thank you to the more than 100 entrants who are doing their part to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Although the contest is over, you can still help stop the spread of AIS. Learn more here.

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.

Find more from our partners here:

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