The Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (MFFP) has detected the spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) in the Lac McConnell region of the Ottawa River near Rapides des Joachims. The invasive type of zooplankton has a high risk of propagation and can have a severe impact on the river’s food chain. The flea competes directly with native species of zooplankton, which can impact several species of fish, as well as the organisms on which they feed.
This is the first time the species has been discovered in the Outaouais region, but it has been detected in the summer of 2018 upstream in Lake Témiscamingue. Experts from the MFFP suspect that the spiny water flea has already made its way further downstream from where it was detected in Rapides des Joachims.
The MFFP would like to remind boaters to thoroughly wash their watercraft whenever they travel between different bodies of water.
More information on the water flea can be found on the MFFP’s website.