Water Soldier - Update on Control Measures, Fall 2016
Water soldier is an invasive aquatic plant native to Eurasia that was first observed in the Trent River in the fall of 2008. Based on ongoing monitoring, it is estimated the water soldier infestation in the Trent River/Lake Seymour area to be greater than 160 hectares with a few isolated patches in Crowe Bay and Percy Reach.
Based on input from the Inter-Agency Working Group and the public, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Peterborough District) will implement a large-scale project to control water soldlier during Fall 2016.
Spraying of the herbicide Reward® (active ingredient - diquat) in water soldier infested areas will take place during the week of October 17, weather permitting. All identified populations in Crowe Bay and Percy Reach will be treated. As the entire infestation area can not be treated this year in Lake Seymour, treatment will focus on the farthest upstream and downstream colonies of water soldier to shrink the range and minimize the potential of spreading.
The Inter-Agency Working Group consists of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Trent University, Lower Trent Conservation, United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Parks Canada, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, and Invasive Species Centre.
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 Invasive 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.
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.