Lovely but dangerous, the yellow flag iris is classified as a noxious weed that out-competes native plants that can provide better access to the shore, provide better habitat and produce valuable nesting materials. (Photo contributed)

Invasive iris gets the chop from McGuire Lake

Group replaces invasive species with native cattails grown from seed by local volunteer

  • Jul. 19, 2018 4:40 p.m.

Iris out, cattails in.

Removing invasive yellow flag iris and planting native cattails in its place is the way the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) has been working to protect the wetland habitat in Salmon Arm’s McGuire Lake Park.

In mid June, the CSISS summer staff began the removal of a 20 metre-squared infestation of yellow flag iris in the north-east corner of McGuire Lake.

Yellow flag iris may be beautiful but it is a noxious weed, notorious for out-competing native wetland plants thereby reducing habitat, forage, and nesting materials for birds and turtles that live in the lake and on the shoreline.

Related: White Lake targets invasive weed

Two weeks after removal, CSISS staff returned to restore the area with native cattails that were grown from seed by Salmon Arm volunteer Keith Cox.

Native cattails are preferred by wetland fauna as they allow for easy access to the shore, provide coverage and protection, and produce valuable nesting materials.

The removal of yellow flag iris from McGuire Lake is part of an overall plan to prevent the spread of the noxious weed as the seeds and rhizomes can float down stream and create new infestations.

Prevention, early detection, and rapid response are crucial for the control of this invasive species.

Related: Three groups pull together

For more information, go to or contact Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society at, or 1-855-785-9333.

The society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

CSISS is appreciative of the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

To learn more about invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap region go to


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