The Shawnigan Residents Association is tackling invasive Eurasian water-milfoil in the lake this summer. (Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org)

Residents look to stem spread of Eurasian water-milfoil in Shawnigan Lake

Shawnigan Residents Association will head program this summer

Members of the Shawnigan Residents Association will be busy this summer pulling invasive Eurasian water-milfoil from Shawnigan Lake.

The SRA has received permission from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to remove the EWM, an introduced invasive aquatic plant that has been in Shawnigan Lake since the late 1970s, this summer.

RELATED STORY: INVASIVE EURASIAN MILFOIL IN SHAWNIGAN LAKE

Netta Bos, who is in charge of the project, called “Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Milfoil at Your Dock?”, for the SRA, said the area’s residents are becoming increasingly concerned with the milfoil in the lake, so the Cowichan Valley Regional District approached the SRA to see if they would take on the challenge.

But she said that, no matter how much invasive milfoil will be removed, it will never be completely eradicated from the lake.

“All we can hope to do is minimize its presence,” Bos said.

“If all the people living on the waterfront approach its removal in the same manner, we could have some success in that.”

EWM grows rapidly and can form densely tangled mats of vegetation near the water surface that shade out native aquatic plants.

In addition to ecological and water quality impacts, dense growth of milfoil can negatively impact recreational and aesthetic values.

RELATED STORY: WOMAN ON CRUSADE TO SAVE DUNCAN’S CENTENNIAL PARK POND FROM INVADERS

In Shawnigan Lake, the invasive milfoil is typically found along most of the shoreline in shallow water that is between one and four metres deep, which represents approximately 13 per cent of the lake.

It’s suspected that the recent increase in milfoil in the lake may be the result of human-introduced nutrients from erosion from activities like forestry, farming, soil dumping, leaking septic infrastructure, and the application of fertilizer to ornamental planting, agricultural fields or pastures.

Bos said Eurasian water-milfoil is spread by fragmentation, and if all the pieces are not collected when removed, it will spread even faster through the lake.

RELATED STORY: NO EASY SOLUTIONS FOR QUAMICHAN LAKE’S DEADLY ALGAE, REPORT STATES

“Only SRA members will be permitted to remove the milfoil because it’s illegal to handle or touch wildlife in B.C. without permission, and we do have a video on the association’s website (www.thesra.ca/milfoil) explaining to members how to properly hand pick it,” she said. “Work on removing the milfoil must not start before June 15 and must be complete before the plant flowers, which usually occurs sometime in late August. Once the plant starts flowering, it will be too brittle to remove without excessive fragmentation.”

Bos said it’s not known if the project will go beyond one year, but the SRA is collecting a database of waterfront owners’ names and addresses so information on this, and other issues facing the lake, can be easily disseminated through the lake community.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Headlights and aftermarket fraudulent compliance markings

The “LED bulbs” now flooding the market are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product.

Three big shows of ‘Legends and Heroes’ as Carlson’s in Cowichan complete another great season

Hip hop, modern, jazz, ballet, and tap students show their stuff as studio winds up 2018/19

Cowichan Coffee Time: Skills win, and wreath laying in Ottawa

• The Cowichan Valley Board of Education is congratulating Cowichan Secondary School… Continue reading

Alistair MacGregor column: The Canada Revenue Agency wants to hear from Canadians about improving services

The purpose of the consultations is to listen and learn from Canadians

Robert Barron column: It’s good to see kids excited about education

A travelling salesman banged on our door and showed my parents an encyclopedia set

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read