Coastal Invasive Species Committee

August 2015 E-News

I   - Coastal ISC News and Updates
II  - Upcoming Events
III - People in Action
IV  - Regional News
V   - BC and International News
VI  - Resources and Tidbits


I -  Coastal ISC News and Updates

Coastal ISC Field Tour, AGM and Spring Forum

Coastal ISC held its 10th annual Field Tour, AGM and Spring Forum on June 12 at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station.  It was a very productive day that started off with informative field tours learning about Spartina control trials and saltmarsh restoration, followed by several excellent presentations in the afternoon focusing on new invasive plants to watch for, aquatic invasive species, and remote sensing technologies to assess invasive species.

In addition, the new draft Strategic Plan for Coastal ISC was presented and discussed. The Plan will be reviewed at the upcoming Board meeting in August and the final version will be posted on the website soon after.

Read more 2014 Coastal ISC highlights in the Annual Achievement Summary, including results from the 2014 knotweed control programs, Spartina removals, and other education and outreach projects.

Coastal ISC Welcomes New Directors

Several new Directors were nominated to join the Coastal ISC Board at the June AGM. We we wish the new Directors a warm welcome and we thank all Directors for their input and support in advancing Coastal ISC's work.  The complete list of 2015-16 Directors is available here.

Update on 2015 Knotweed Control Programs

Building on the success of other regional approaches, a number of knotweed control programs are underway this summer in partnership with the Coastal Invasive Species Committee. For the second year, we are partnering with the Town of Qualicum Beach. In June, a new regional partnership with the City of Nanaimo, the City of Parksville, and the Town of Qualicum Beach was launched.  As well, the Comox Valley Invasive Plant Partnership program, first launched in 2013, is continuing with all four local governments involved: the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, Village of Cumberland and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD). These programs are funded through a partnership delivery model to maximize on-the-ground treatment efforts and help build local capacity. The goals are to verify all knotweed reports within these jurisdictions and to provide professionals to conduct treatments on select sites. 

It often takes several years of treatment to completely eradicate knotweed but persistence pays off!  Several property owners in the Comox Valley have reported that their knotweed is now much reduced or completely eradicated in some cases.  We are continuing to monitor and treat sites that have been previously treated and many new reports are coming in from Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach. If you think you have knotweed on your property, please contact or 1-250-857-2472.

For more information about knotweed treatment, read the Summary of Key Findings from the March 2015 Knotweed Workshop that was held in Nanaimo.

We are continuing to promote the Alienbusters program and distribute the “Knot On My Property” information brochure to local governments and other interested groups. If you would like to order some Knotweed brochures, please contact us at

Experimental Field Trials for Knotweed Control

In early July, Coastal ISC staff joined TimberWest, Cowichan First Nations, BC Parks, Living Rivers – Georgia Basin/Vancouver Island BC Conservation Foundation and others to view early results from small-scale field trials on knotweed in an unused area on TimberWest lands. Several products were applied in specific plots during June 2015. Although the results are preliminary, we could already see some effects in many plots. A high strength commercial vinegar solution was also tested, however this appeared to have little effect on knotweed. The group took the opportunity to discuss possible integrated pest management methods to consider on the Cowichan River. We thank TimberWest for coordinating this learning event.

Stay connected!
If you have any questions or updates to share about invasive species projects, please contact us at

To keep updated on Coastal ISC news and events, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and on our website.

II - Upcoming Events

August 23-27, 2015: Society for Ecological Restoration (SER 2015), 6th World Conference on Ecological Restoration - "Towards resilient ecosystems: restoring the urban, the rural and the wild.” Manchester, England, UK. 

September 2-4, 2015: Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species Annual Meeting. Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, California. Email:

September 20-24, 2015: 13th International Conference on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions (EMAPI 2015). Big Island, Hawaii.

October 4-7, 2015: The Canadian Ecotoxicity Workshop (CEW), formerly known as the Aquatic Toxicity Workshop (ATW), Annual Meeting. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

October 6-8, 2015: Society of Wetland Scientists PNW Chapter 2015 Regional Conference. Olympia, WA.

October 17-22, 2015: The 22nd Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

October 19-22, 2015: North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) Conference. Vancouver, BC. 

December 7-10, 2015: North Central Weed Science Society Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, Indiana.

January 19-21, 2016: 9th International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions. Sydney, Australia.

February 2-3, 2016: INVASIVES 2016: ISCBC’s Forum & AGM. Richmond, BC. Early Bird registration is now OPEN until December 15!

III - People in Action

Have you seen European Wall Lizards?
The European Wall Lizard looks quite similar to the native Alligator Lizard in size but differs in shape and colour. The tails on these slim wall lizards are generally twice as long as the body of the animal and the colouring on their backs ranges between green to brown with small black blotches and bright blue spots along the sides of male lizards. The lizards were first introduced to the Greater Victoria area from a private zoo in the 1970s when the animals were set loose or escaped. These little lizards are commonly found basking in the sun on concrete, rock, wood or asphalt surfaces or hunting for food in gardens, bushes and other similar environments. Wall lizards are usually first seen on warm days in the early spring and can then be spotted easily throughout the warmer summer months and into the early fall.

Currently they tend to be concentrated around the Brentwood Bay area and throughout central Saanich but they have also been reported in a variety of other locations throughout most of the Greater Victoria region. Please send any sightings of invasive European Wall lizards to Gavin Hanke, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum (  Read more.

Invasive Plant Haul in Nanaimo
by Spencer Anderson - Nanaimo Daily News, June 27, 2015
"Nanaimo residents pitched in to collect and haul just under eight tonnes of invasive plants from park land and private property during May," city environmental planner Rob Lawrance says. Volunteers worked with city parks staff to target plants like English ivy from ecologically sensitive areas in the parks, where species had been enveloping and choking trees. Residents also helped hack down and gathered Scotch broom, another highly prevalent invasive plant on Vancouver Island. Residents also dropped off about two tonnes of invasive plants from their back yards to drop zones in Bowen Park. A total nine tonnes of invasive plants have been removed from city parks so far this year. Read more.

Class Act: Burnaby Students Take on Alien Invaders
by Cornelia Naylor - Burnaby Now, July 17, 2015

A group of Burnaby students waged war against alien invaders at Deer Lake Park. Volunteers with the Burnaby Youth Sustainability Network (BYSN) spent three sweltering hours in the park pulling up invasive plants, like policeman’s helmet, an invasive species that produces thousands of seeds from one flower alone. Aimed at preserving biodiversity in Deer Lake Park, the event was the second invasive-species-removal bee planned by BYSN chair Alice Huang – and it won’t be the last. Read more.

IV - Regional News

City report tackles invasive species, Campbell River
by  Kristen Douglas, Campbell River Mirror, August 6, 2015

City staff are recommending city council implement a $40,000 invasive plant plan to help control and eradicate invasive species such as Scotch broom. The plan would include $15,000 of new funding in the first three years of the five-year implementation plan and $10,000 of additional funding in years four and five. The money would go towards chemical control of knotweed and extra pick up and disposal efforts among other things. The city is also recommending council spend $25,000 on a brand-new, part-time invasive species coordinator position for invasive species management and to help implement the plan.  Read more.

Regional district earmarking treatments: Invasive species measures will address priority requirements
by Paul Galinski, The Powell River Peak,  August 5, 2015

Powell River Regional District will be altering its invasive species treatment plan to meet more urgent requirements. At the Thursday, July 16 committee of the whole meeting, Sandy McCormick, Electoral Area D director, referred directors to an item of correspondence from Tom Read, an island resident. Based on the letter, McCormick recommended a change in focus of the Texada Island treatment plan from tansy ragwort to Japanese knotweed. When it came to the regional board meeting, Thursday, July 23, directors carried the invasive species recommendation from the committee of the whole. The board voted to support bio-control measures at the south end of Texada, and targeted herbicide control measures at the north side of Texada Island, by the Coastal Invasive Species Committee, for the control of Japanese knotweed; and that the board advise the Coastal Invasive Species Committee that monies for scotch broom control at the Paradise Valley Exhibition Park be carried over to next year.  Read more.

Japanese Knotweed: The Plant that’s eating BC
Ken MacQueen, Maclean's Magazine,  June 12, 2015

It was June of 2013, and, by then, Joe Cindrich knew plenty about the enemy massing for an invasion of his two-hectare hobby farm in Langley Township in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. He’d been all over the Internet. “I just researched the hell out of it,” he says. He knew his fears were justified, and he set off for a township council meeting to raise the alarm. He carried with him the root of the problem: fragments of Japanese knotweed, a demon weed so relentless, bloody-minded and destructive, it’s been called the terrorist of the plant kingdom. Read more.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announces 'More funding to nip spread of invasive plants in the bud'
June 24, 2015

QUESNEL - The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has committed an additional $2.25 million over the next three years to reduce the spread of invasive species in B.C. “Invasive plants can have serious effects on many industries, as well as to the natural ecosystems on which we rely,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This additional funding supports government’s commitment to protect B.C. from the impacts of invasive species, and helps the ministry specifically target invasive species on roadsides and in gravel pits.” Read more.

Invasive species a threat in every corner of B.C. : A sample of non-native plants and animals loose in our ecosystems
Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun, June 25, 2015

Dozens of non-native invasive plants and animals are established in British Columbia, arriving on the wind, in nursery plants, soil and on improperly cleaned boats. Invasives are more than a nuisance, costing millions in crop losses, ruined infrastructure and threatening natural biodiversity, according to the Invasive Species Council of B.C. The federal government  passed new regulations in the Aquatic Invasive Species Act granting new powers to border staff and creating a guideline for responding to infestations. But there is much more to do. Here is a sample of the most impactful invasive species already loose in our ecosystems. Read more.

Japanese knotweed: A pretty plant, and a growing threat to B.C. Bamboo-like invasive species has even spawned a hybrid offshoot
by Glen Schaefer, Times-Colonist, July 5, 2015

An ever-shifting plague of foreign weeds is invading Metro Vancouver’s roadsides, parks and gardens through the earth and the air. Japanese knotweed, an aggressive Asian plant first spotted in B.C. in the 1990s, has combined with giant knotweed to create a hybrid called Bohemian knotweed. Now that hybrid is “back-crossing” with its parents to make new breeds that spread faster and are even harder to kill, according to Jennifer Grenz, executive director of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver. Read more.

V -  BC and International News

Over $300,000 to Combat Invasive Mussels in BC
by Cassandra Jeffery, Kelowna Now, July 10, 2015

A $360,000 funding grant from the Columbia Basin Trust will help to prevent invasive mussels from entering British Columbian waterways. The funding will allow the province to double the number of mobile decontamination units aimed at stopping zebra and quagga mussels from entering freshwater lakes and rivers. This new partnership also includes support from FortisBC and a number of invasive species councils operating in the Kootenay region, such as the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council. Three additional mobile inspection and decontamination crews will be dedicated to stopping and ensuring boats entering B.C. waterways are mussel free. The teams will be based in Cranbrook, Valemount, and Nelson, targeting major entry points from Alberta and the U.S. Read more.

Mussel-sniffing dogs having success keeping invasive species out of Alberta: 1,200 boats inspected since June in Alberta-Montana pilot project

CBC News August 10, 2015

The province says mandatory cross-border boat inspections to check for invasive mussels is working well. Since June, inspectors have been working with three specially trained dogs to spot the tiny species of the zebra and quagga mussels. The Alberta–Montana Canine Mussel Detection Pilot, the first of its kind in Canada, is working on both sides of the border to sniff out the mussels. Read More.

State to begin emergency effort to kill invasive weed in Anchorage's Lake Hood
by Yereth Rosen Alaska Dispatch News July 22, 2015

Herbicide applications are scheduled to start to rid Anchorage's Lake Hood -- the nation’s busiest floatplane center -- of a newly discovered invasive plant infestation, a state official said. The work to combat elodea at Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage will start quickly, thanks to an emergency authorization from state environmental officials and other speedy permitting and funding, said Heather Stewart, invasive weeds and agricultural pest coordinator for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Read more.

Hunting for 'Super Worm' in your backyard
Catherine W. Idzerda July 7, 2015

Jumping worms might look like earthworms, but they move more like snakes. Watch the invasive species in action in this video from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking residents to be on the lookout for jumping worms, an invasive species first found in the state in 2013. The band around the worm's middle, called a clitellum, is white to light gray and flat in jumping worms. In ordinary earthworms, it is puffy and usually the shade of the worm itself. Jumping worms pose a serious danger to state forests. They change the soil, disrupting the natural decomposition of leaf litter on the forest floor. The “grainy, dry worm castings (poop) cannot support the understory plants,” according to a DNR fact sheet. Read more.

Invasive Eurasian dove found in King Salmon: Fish and Wildlife says it's the farthest west this wandering dove has been found in the U.S.
By Hannah Colton/KDLG Jul 22, 2015

An invasive species of dove was spotted in King Salmon on July 14. Stuart Fety, a biological technician with Fish and Wildlife in King Salmon says “It was in fact a Eurasian collared dove, surprisingly enough.” Fety says this particular species has a long history of moving in where it shouldn’t. It’s native to Europe and Asia, but first became established in the U.S. in 1982.
“…when they escaped from a pet shop in Florida when it was burgled. And they were first seen in Alaska in 2009 along the Denali highway… and they’ve kinda rapidly expanded their range.” Until now, the furthest west the dove had been seen was in Homer, a few weeks ago. Read more.

New invasive plants targeted with spotters program: Invasive Japanese knotweed 'out of control' on P.E.I.
CBC News June 22, 2015

A new program to spot and stop new invasive species that may arrive on the Island or are just starting to establish is being planned by the P.E.I. Invasive Species Council. "If they do arrive, we have spotters out there, volunteers to let us know that they're here and hopefully get an action plan in place very quickly to get those growths under control." said Jackie Waddell, executive director of Island Nature Trust, which is a member of the council. Waddell is hopeful that the spotters may be able to prevent a situation like the one that has developed with Japanese knotweed. She says that invasive plant is "out of control" on the Island. She said it's particularly prevalent in eastern P.E.I. where it's covering acres in some cases. Read more.

VI - Resources and Tidbits

New Study - Invasive Plants get a Leg up in Fertilized Grasslands 
Elizabeth Dunbar · July 15, 2015

A University of Minnesota study shows that invasive plant species have an advantage over native species when grasslands are fertilized. The study involved multiple years of data on 64 grassland sites in 13 countries around the world, including the university's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve near East Bethel, Minn. Researchers added phosphorus and nitrogen to simulate the increased nutrients humans are putting in the air from burning fossil fuels. Adding those nutrients give non-native species a leg up, and native species become less abundant. Researchers say the study helps explain why invasive species like buckthorn and quackgrass have been able to take over in some places. Read more.

Why Alberta Wildlife Experts Warn Not To Flush Live Goldfish Down Toilet
By Quadey Humile | Jun 27, 2015

Wildlife experts in Alberta are cautioning residents from flushing their live goldfish pets down the toilet as they can pose a threat to Canada's aquatic life. While most of these golden water creatures do not make it down the toilet alive, some do survive and even grow at a surprising size and even proliferate at an alarming rate. Several goldfish with the size of dinner plates were reportedly taken out from ponds in different parts of the Canadian province as far north as Fort McMurray and as far south as Lethbridge. Read more.

Study shows Grey Squirrels are Quick Learners
July 6, 2015 University of Exeter

They may be viewed by some as an invasive species or a commonplace pest of public parks, but a new study from the University of Exeter has shown that grey squirrels are actually quick learners capable of adapting tactics to improve efficiency and reap the best rewards. Read more.

On the Lighter Side...

Thank you for your continued support!

Coastal ISC Staff and Partners in Action!

Treatment signs

Learning about Spartina controls at the 2015 Field Tour in Royston


2015 Spring Forum at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station