Public is warned that invasive plants can be found for sale in the Kootenay region.
Species listed on the provincial noxious weed list, such as flowering rush, can be found in some local retail garden centres. Flowering rush is regarded as one of the top five worst invasive plants in Canada due to its major negative ecological impact on natural ecosystems. Flowering rush is an ‘alert’ species as it has been found in B.C. but is not yet established. The public is asked to help prevent the spread of this high priority plant by reporting any sightings to CKISSand by never planting flowering rush in water gardens. Other common garden and water garden species that are considered invasive and should be avoided include periwinkle, English ivy, yellow archangel, mountain bluet, and yellow flag iris.
In an effort to mitigate the harmful impacts of invasive species on our economy and ecosystems, CKISS has collaborated with ISCBC to deliver the provincial wide PlantWise program in the Kootenay region. This outreach program educates gardening enthusiasts about horticulture’s most “unwanted” invasive plants in B.C. while providing a variety of non-invasive alternatives in order to prevent the spread of invasive plants into the environment.
Come help us improve wildlife habitat by volunteering for a Community Weed Pull during Toadfest at Summit Lake Provincial Park on August 22nd and 23rd. You are encouraged to come get your hands dirty and assist CKISS with this restoration project.
We will be digging out invasive burdock and prepping the site for a school field trip in September. Students from Nakusp Elementary will be helping us improve ecosystem health by planting a variety of native shrubs and trees post weed pull. We will have shovels and gloves on hand for you to borrow or bring your own!
A big thanks to Columbia Basin Trust, Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program, FWCP and BC Parks for supporting this restoration project.
** Please note that this portion of Toadfest may be postponed if there are toadlets in the restoration site**
Aquatic Program Update
Protect Our Waters from Invasive Mussels!
Invasive mussels are at our doorstep! Now is the time to take action to protect our waters. These invasive and highly destructive mussels are not in B.C., but they are getting closer. Zebra and quagga mussels have been found in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and over 24 American states as far west as California.
Next to prevention, the next best tool in our tool box is early detection and this is why CKISS has increased sampling frequency in 2018. Weekly plankton sampling for invasive mussels in the Central and West Kootenay area kicked off in June 2018 and will run until October 2018. To date, the CKISS staff have collected over 60 samples at 30 sites within 9 different waterbodies in our region.
Nerissa Abbott, a CKISS Invasive Species Technician, using a plankton net at Gyro Park in Trail to collect samples that get sent to a lab for testing. The lab will test for free-swimming microscopic mussel larvae, called veligers.
The Bullfrog Action Team is Working Hard to Stop a Full Blown American Bullfrog Invasion!
Introduced bullfrogs have been called "wetland bullies" due to their adaptable, prolific, competitively exclusive, and predatory nature. The bullfrog action team began monitoring and eradication efforts in Nelway on June 4, 2018 and in Creston on June 11, 2018. To date, the team have caught 15 adult bullfrogs, the largest weighing in at 200 grams.
Despite these efforts, we are sad to report that bullfrog calls have been heard in new sensitive wetland habitats within the Creston Valley. This is bad news for native amphibians that call the Creston wetlands home, especially the endangered northern leopard frog. CKISS will continue early detection and rapid eradication field work throughout the summer and into the fall. Eradication efforts are focused in the south of the valley to prevent the movement north.
Report ALL sightings to
phone : 250-354-6333
** when reporting sightings, please note where and when you
spotted/heard it and take a photo if possible.**
Using a fyke net, our bullfrog team has been capturing bullfrog tadpoles, the largest so far being 11.5 cm long. (About ¾ length of a hand) near Nelway.
Invasive Species Treatment Pilot Program Results Promising
Suppressing Eurasian water milfoil with the objective of reducing spawning habitat for invasive northern pike.
The introduction of invasive Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) in the Robson Reach section of the Lower Columbia River has resulted in ideal spawning habitat for invasive northern pike (Esox lucius). Northern pikewere first found within the Columbia River in 2010 and are ravenous and highly predatory, having the ability to devastate local fish populations. Based on this concern, in addition to the nuisance of EWM to anglers and other recreational users, local organizations tested methods to suppress EWM with the objective of reducing spawning habitat for northern pike.
Thanks to funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience Program CKISS developed a ‘Citizen Science: Frog Watching Program’ that was delivered to grade five and six students at the Yaqan Nukiy School in Creston on June 4, 2018. The objective of the program is to provide teachers and students with a hands-on and interactive experience that will give them the knowledge, tools and resources they need in order to make vital contributions to invasive species early detection, monitoring and management by becoming citizen scientists.
This funding has allowed CKISS staff to lead two additional field trips this past spring. Students from Nakusp Elementary and Twin Rivers in Castlegar stepped into the role of ‘Invasive Species Technician’ by recording the density and distribution of invasive species in their communities.
If you want your students to be 'Citizen Scientists" please contact, Laurie Frankcom; currently accepting September bookings. Hurry, space is limited!
Kootenay Youth Pulling Together
The CKISS "Youth Pulling Together" program is still going strong thanks to funding from the Columbia Basin Trust. The program encourages youth to become local stewards by giving them the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to identify and mechanically remove invasive plants on the school ground or a nearby invasive plant site.
The following trips took place in Spring 2018:
May 24 - Snk'mip Marsh Knapweed Pull with New Denver Elementary School
May 29 - Nakusp Elementary Scotch Broom Bash
June 11 and 12 - Louie Joe Trail Policeman Helmet and Burdock pull with JL Crowe High school
June 18 - Charleston Connector Policeman Helmet pull with Rossland Summit School
If this is a program you are interested in getting your class or youth group involved in, please contact Laurie Frankcom.
Operations Program Update
What Plant Species Are We Treating This Summer?
Our field crew is working hard to treat priority species including teasel, scotch broom, yellow flag iris and rush skeletonweed on Crown and various stakeholder lands
We are collaborating with the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resources Operations & Rural Development invasive plant crew to manage regional Early Detection Rapid Response species including marsh plume thistle and wild parsnip
CKISS has implemented a new GIS-based data management system this season and it is making our lives easier already
CKISS Invasive Species Technicians, Liam Barnes and Nerissa Abbott, removing tarp loads of invasive scotch broom in Trail
Knotweed – Don’t Mow It!
The role of No-Mow signs in invasive knotweed prevention.
What makes knotweed so invasive, is its ability to regenerate by both root and stem fragments. A new infestation of knotweed can occur from as little as 0.7 grams of stem fragment. Unfortunately, digging, cutting, burning or mowing have proved to be ineffective in controlling the plant and can contribute to its spread.
In an effort to reduce the spread of knotweed we have collaborated with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in order to install ‘Do Not Mow’ signs adjacent to knotweed infestations along major roadways through out the Central and West Kootenays. The bright yellow signs act as a reminder to maintenance contractors conducting mowing along roadways to lift their blades and not mow the invasive plant. We are requesting that the public not remove the signs and if they see a sign that is knocked over or damaged to contact CKISS immediately at 1-844-352-1160. The signs are currently installed in Nakusp, Nelson, Castlegar-Trail corridor and the Slocan Valley.
Species Profile: Blueweed
Blueweed is native to Europe and is considered noxious under the B.C. Weed Control Act.
Produces 2800 seeds per plant that are viable for 36 months, seeds can be distributed by hitchhiking onto recreation gear and clothing.
Blueweed invades rangelands and pastures, the plant can be toxic to horses and cattle if ingested.
Bright blue blossoms on short rough stem.
Grow 30- 80 cm high.
Stems are covered in sharp hairs, therefore you will want to wear gloves when hand puling this plant!
How can you stop the spread of blueweed?
Choose native species for your garden like large-leaved lupines to plant instead of blueweed.
Remove seeds and mud from your recreation gear, footwear and pet.