What is the Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Project?
In response to residents and environmental representatives, the CLPOA initiated an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) management project in 2018 in association with Trent University. The research project focuses on managing the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) invading Chandos Lake. The management project is completed in an integrated approach, with two principle pillars:
Placement of benthic mats seeded with vegetation. The mats are made of biodegradable materials, such as coconut husk. They are laid on the lake bottom after Eurasian watermilfoil is removed. They act much like a shade cloth does in a garden, and prevent milfoil from growing after treatment. To further accelerate restoration of the site, native aquatic plants are seeded in the mat.
Release of milfoil weevils (Euhrychiopsis lecontei) a small aquatic insect. This native insect is used as a form of biocontrol and feeds on the Eurasian watermilfoil over the summer.
What are the phases of the project?
Phase 1 (summer of 2018) – Five control and five treatment sites were selected around the lake where active management took place. Control sites were also set up to monitor changes without active intervention. Each treatment site received one benthic mat (2m by 8m in size) and a portion of the 25,000 total weevils released.
Phase 2 (summer of 2019) – Expand the project and place more benthic mats around the lake with the help of Trent summer students. Also continue to monitor sites set up in 2018 for long term changes.