Starting in 2018, the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS) received a grant from the EcoAction Community Funding 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 threat of invasive species across Canada.

Below is a synopsis of our Year 2 Field Results:

Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council (SISC)

  • SISC connected with four stakeholders on the South Saskatchewan River to manage a variety of invasive species populations, with a focus on Flowering Rush.
  • Due to COVID-19 delays and restrictions, field work could not be completed as it was the previous year. Additionally, high water levels and fast currents prevented water-based surveys for Flowering Rush on the South Saskatchewan River from being conducted due to safety reasons.
  • However, shore-based surveys and removals were completed along sections of the river, and drone surveys for Flowering Rush were trialed.
  • At the Flowering Rush site in the 2-hectare wetland near Watrous,SK, a comprehensive shoreline survey was conducted.
  • SISCs monitoring activities have shown that the Flowering Rush removal has been successful, with very little re-emergence. There are concerns that some Flowering Rush populations that could not be removed in 2019, and were not found again in 2020, have been washed further downstream due to flooding.
  • The Flowering Rush site near Watrous, SK has found no new plants for a second year in a row, indicating that eradication efforts here were successful.

Invasive Species Council of British Columbia (ISC BC)

  • ISC BC continued to partner with the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), Friends of Bridge Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band, and Friends of Todd Creek Watershed. ISC BC also secured 2 new partnerships with Lac Des Roches and the Burnaby Lake Park Association.
  • Due to COVID-19, many of the planned spring and summer stewardship activities and events were cancelled or postponed to the fall of 2020. Activities that did occur are described below.
  • The ISCBC JCP Salmon Arm team assisted Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) with completing Asian clam sampling along the shores of Shuswap Lake.
  • New growth at the Bridge Lake yellow flag iris site, was cut down and vinyl was reattached at the site. More spikes were secured into the vinyl to keep it in place for the next year. The ISCBC supported Bridge Lake by providing resources and materials to support the adopting of an aquatic habitat.
  • Friends of Todd Creek Watershed: An aquatic plant survey was completed at Prospect Lake by group members. The group is working on confirming the identification of what is suspected to be Eurasian watermilfoil, found during the survey. The group planned a yellow flag iris removal event at Maltby Lake before the end of fall 2020.
  • In Williams Lake, the ISCBC organized and coordinated a fall event to remove yellow flag iris at Scout Island with the Williams Lake First Nation staff.
  • ISC BC also plans to support the Lac Des Roches group to treat yellow flag iris on a residents property.
  • In Fall 2020, the Burnaby Lake Park Association planned to host stewardship events with experienced regional park volunteers.

Despite the impediment of COVID-19 on field work activities in both Saskatchewan and British Columbia, we are excited to see that our partners have made great efforts to continue stewardship activities to promote the long-term health and quality of waterways and shorelines in both provinces!

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

1Learn 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 it. Be sure to clean off and 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 Toolkit”. 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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