A workshop on Feb. 15 in the Aboriginal Gathering Place at UFV will look into what can be done about the invasive Eurasian milfoil in Cultus Lake.

Workshop takes on invasive aquatics in Chilliwack

"It's been vexing us for so long. It was time to bring the best minds to look at how it's managed," said CLASS chair.

It’s time to bring the best minds to the problem of invasive aquatic plants — namely Eurasian milfoil.

It’s become a huge problem at Cultus Lake in Chilliwack for example.

The long-term answer, according to the latest science, apparently isn’t something simple like yanking it out by the root balls.

The invasive plant grows quickly and it can get in the way of swimming, waterskiing, and boating. It can choke out native species and interfere with fish habitat.

“It’s been vexing us for so long. It was time to bring the best minds to look at how it’s managed,” said Marion Robinson, chair of Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy.

A workshop using video conferencing on water quality and Eurasian Watermilfoil in Cultus and Nicola Lakes is set for Feb. 15 in the Aboriginal Gathering Place on the Chilliwack campus of UFV. It goes 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a traditional lunch. It’s organized and hosted by The Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewards (CLASS), facilitated by the Fraser Basin Council, and other partners.

Best practices and management ideas have changed over the years.

“There is a different way to tackle the milfoil,” she said. “It’s about managing it and managing it scientifically. But there is no silver bullet.”

The experts will be assessing the science of how the plant spreads and sharing experiments with controlling it in other regions.

“Local stewardship groups, agencies and government have had invasive aquatics on the agenda for more than five years,” Robinson said.

Recent questions have come forward about science and best practices, hence this workshop.

“The agencies, consist of many networks that we hope to bring together regarding lakes and invasives,” she added.

They include Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewards, a network of 60 individuals, agencies, non-profit organizations, and four orders of government (first nations, regional, provincial, federal). Also participating is the Nicola Lake Working Group.

One of the experts is John D. Madsen, Geosystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University.

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is known to be a widespread issue. It’s a non-native plant considered invasive in the lakes and rivers of North America.

The biology and physiology of this plant has conferred some properties that have enabled it to spread and dominate in a wide variety of habitats in North America, including the ability to develop stem fragments and its canopy-forming growth form.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

 

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

Just Posted

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Birds were saved but the buildings on Castleman Road were destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Chilliwack heritage house

House-moving company relocated Hope River Road home to Riverside Drive

UPDATE w/ PHOTOS: Chilliwack fire crews tackle vacant house fire on Rowat Avenue Friday

Empty house was boarded up and behind fencing on lots slated for redevelopment

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

UPDATE: Police have Maple Ridge hotel locked down

A large contingent of Mounties are at the Art Infiniti Hotel on Lougheed Highway

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read