Lower Trent Conservation

Invasive Species

Water Soldier - Update on Control Measures, Fall 2018

 Water soldier is an invasive aquatic plant native to Eurasia that was first observed in the Trent River in the fall of 2008.


Extensive monitoring of the Trent River during recent summer seasons has identified populations of water soldier extending from County Road 30 at the hamlet of Trent River downstream to an area between Glen Ross and Frankford.

Based on input from the Inter-Agency Working Group and the public, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Peterborough District) will continue to implement a large-scale project to control water soldier using the herbicide Reward® (active ingredient - diquat). Spraying of all infested areas took place during the Fall of 2017 and is happening again this Fall (2018). 

The Inter-Agency Working Group consists of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry; Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters; Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks; Trent University; United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Parks Canada; Ontario Invasive Plant Council; Invasive Species Centre and Lower Trent Conservation.

For more information, or to report sightings, visit Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program

What Are Invasive Species?

Invasive species are species of plants and animals that make their way into natural habitats and crowd out the native species that were already present and established. These species have no natural predators and reproduce extremely quickly, allowing them to out-compete native species for food and resources.

Why Are InInvasive Species Web.jpgvasive Species A Problem?   

Invasive species can not only pose threats to other plants and animals within an ecosystem, they can cause extreme social and economic problems for us as well.  Every year invasive species cost agriculture and forest industries in Canada $7.3 billion.  Zebra mussels alone have cost between $3 billion and $7.5 billion in damages throughout the Great Lakes.  Ontario has the highest risk of species invasions compared to any other Canadian province or territory, due to its diverse economy, growing population and geographic location.

Invasive species can also be very dangerous.  Species like giant hogweed  can cause serious and painful burning blisters on the skin if exposed to the sap of the plant.  If the sap gets in your eyes, it can also cause temporary or permanent blindness.  In water, species such as water soldier can make recreational swimming and boating difficult as they form dense clusters with sharp edges and barbs.

How Are Invasive Species Introduced?

  • Off road vehicals (ATV's, dirt bikes, tractors)
  • Aquarium, water garden and pet trades
  • Ballast water
  • Canals and changes to waterways
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Movement of live fish and bait
  • Movement or transport of topsoil
  • Recreational and commercial boating
  • Transport of animal carcasses or products made from them
  • Transport of raw wood and other forest products
  • Water transport and using water for dust control on roads

What Can You Do To Help?

Unfortunately, once established, these invasive species can be extremely difficult to eliminate. The
active participation of the public, boaters, anglers, campers, hikers, and other recreationalists, is vital to prevent the spread of these invaders.

To help prevent the spread, here are a few tips:

  • Gardening? Plant native species. stop.jpg
  • Going camping? Don’t transport firewood. Buy it locally; leave what you don’t use there.
  • Going fishing? Don’t empty your bait bucket in or near water – it’s against the law.
  • Going boating? Wash your boat before you move to another lake or river.
  • Going hiking? Clean visible mud, plants and seeds from your boots and other equipment.
  • Have a fish pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild and don’t flush dead fish
     down the toilet. Put them in the garbage or compost.
  • Travelling? Don’t take plants, plant parts, seeds or fruit across borders.
  • Have a turtle, fish or other small reptile pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild.
  • Found an invasive? Report any found invasive species to the Invasive Species Hotline (1-800-563-7711) or EDDMapS.org/Onatrio.

Additional Resources