Starting in 2018, the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS) received funding from the EcoAction Community Grant Program, through Environment and Climate Change Canada, to partner with the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISC BC) and the Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (SISC) to work with local partners in both provinces and adopt aquatic habitats to remove aquatic invasive species, resulting in restored shoreline and wetland areas.

The overall objective of the project is to improve water quality and restore key shorelines, wetlands and boat launched impacts by aquatic invasive species, but also to continue to raise awareness of the issue of invasive species across Canada. Although we all prefer on the ground action, there are many different audiences across Canada who are simply unaware of the issue of invasive species and the impacts they cause. The more people who become aware, the more potential action they will take the stop the spread of invasive species through their activities.

Below is a synopsis of our Year 1 Field results:

Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (SISC)

  • The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, the Meewasin Valley Authority, the South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards and the Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council joined forces and adopted 45 km of the South Saskatchewan infested with Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus).
  • From August 12-16, both shores of the river were scouted by teams in canoes for the entire 45 km length of the adopted area.
  • Flowering Rush patches were found and mapped. The groups returned the following week (Aug. 19-23) and removed all patches found, then started working westward toward Alberta where the source of the Flowering Rush infestation originates.
  • Work will continue in future years to both survey other portions of the river downstream (as no end to the Flowering Rush was found this summer) and to eradicate Flowering Rush upstream of where activities ceased for the season. The hope is that a Flowering Rush free buffer will be created and maintained from the Alberta border into Saskatchewan.
  • Communications regarding Flowering Rush were sent out to local media outlets with the hope of raising awareness about the threat of Flowering Rush in their area. In addition to the groups mentioned, volunteer support included representatives from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Leader Lions Club and the Town of Leader.
  • The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan also monitored another riparian area for Flowering Rush that had been previously infested with Flowering Rush. For the first time since the monitoring and removal had begun 10 years ago, no Flowering Rush was found.

Invasive Species Council of British Columbia (ISC BC)

  • The ISC BC partnered with the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), Friends of Bridge Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band, and Friends of Todd Creek Watershed to undertake the restoration component of this project.
  • The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society completed work at White Lake and Little White Lake to remove, slow, and prevent the spread of Yellow Flag Iris. Along with CSISS, ISCBC assisted for two field days to help with the management of this invasive species. Along with physical help, the ISCBC’s JCP crew brought out supplies and tools. They worked to dig out the plants and the roots of as many of the iris’s as possible in the time permitted. The tops of flowering iris’s were then removed near the end of each day to slow the spread. Volunteers from the community were involved in the process on the second day.
  • Friends of Bridge Lake surveyed Bridge lake with volunteers to determine where the Yellow Flag Iris is located. Moving forward, the group will complete removal of the plants in 2021 field season.
  • The Williams Lake Indian Band and Friends of Todd Creek Watershed are now planning for Year Two monitoring and restoration activities.

We are very excited to see all the work that has been completed thus far by all our partners!

Continue to spread the word to others about aquatic invasive species and how they can help:

1. Learn what they look like and report them. By learning what they look like and reporting their sightings, you are contributing to their early detection, resulting in action to prevent their further spread. If we learn of where these species are before they get a foot hold, we may be able to stop them. To learn about the species in your province or territory, along with the reporting system to use, go here.

2. Prevent their spread. If you like to go outside, bike, fish, boat, kayak etc. you might be spreading invasive species without even knowing about it. Be sure to check your gear for invasive plants and animals before moving to a new location. To learn more about this, visit our website here.

3.Tackle them. We worked with ISC BC and SISC to create an “Adopt an Aquatic Area Tookit”. The purpose of the toolkit is to assist other stakeholder groups in protecting our precious aquatic habitats by effectively addressing aquatic invasive species issues. The toolkit is a step-by-step guide on how to adopt and aquatic area impacted by invasive species and how to restore and manage it. Find the toolkit HERE.

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