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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected as chairman of the board at the CVRD. (File photo)
Aaron Stone re-elected as chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, elected as new vice-chairman

North Cowichan strengthens some COVID-19 safety protocols, and introduces new ones, as the pandemic enters ts second phase. (File photo)
North Cowichan and CVRD implementing new COVID rules

Municipality reacting to new public health orders

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Most Read