Milfoil growth sees unexpected increase

It’s green, invasive and it’s growing. That’s what Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors heard

It’s green, invasive and it’s growing.

That’s what Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors heard at their Nov. 13 board meeting in a report from the Milfoil Planning Committee Meeting.

“Milfoil growth in the Shuswap has generally been on a historical decline but has increased this year,” noted a report to the board.” Consistent with previous years,  the Shuswap program will focus primarily on public, high-use swimming beaches, with lower priority given to private foreshore, particularly given the challenges of maneuvering around private docks.”

At the Oct. 8 Milfoil Control Planning Committee, environmental services co-ordinator Hamish Kassa advised the 2015 program will, as in other years, include rototilling, harvesting, public information, surveillance and harvesting.

He also noted the capital reserve account will be increased to facilitate the purchase of a new harvester, as the current machine is due for replacement in 2019. That machine will be retained as a secondary resource when heavy growth occurs.

“Maybe over time we’ll be able to figure out what contributes to the growth of this weed; I see some of the beds were so thick this year,” said Area E Rural Sicamous-Malakwa director Rhona Martin. “We know it,  we’ve had the conversation but we need to bring it to public’s attention.”

Martin said CSRD directors decided many years ago that they were going to eradicate milfoil, but soon realized how difficult the weed was to deal with.

“The lake is a very vital part of the community and the pictures we saw were disgusting,” she added. “I want people to be aware… if we’re not vigilant, other things could take hold, and not just at the cost to recreation.”

 

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