Hatzic Lake/Mission/Victoria – The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is taking the first step to eradicate an invasive aquatic plant in Hatzic Lake that could create problems for local water management systems and interfere with swimming, fishing and boating activities.
Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) also has a negative effect on water quality and degrades fish and wildlife habitat. Hatzic Lake covers over 290 hectares and is a popular destination for people who enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing and other recreational water sports.
The B.C. government has committed $86,845 to the Invasive Plant Early Detection Rapid Response Program to control the spread of flowering rush within British Columbia, which includes the initial stages of the two-year Hatzic Lake Aquatic Invasive Plant Action Plan.
The Hatzic Lake Aquatic Invasive Plant Action Plan is specifically designed to stop the spread of flowering rush, which grows quickly to form dense patches of vegetation that can crowd out native plants and disrupt ecosystems. The current infestation in Hatzic Lake represents the largest of only three known populations of flowering rush in B.C., so this location represents an ideal opportunity for eradication.
The treatment methods and equipment that are being tested this fall will help guide future aquatic invasive plant management in Hatzic Lake, its connected waterways and other bodies of water in B.C.
The Hatzic Lake Aquatic Invasive Plant Action Plan consists of several phases that will last through the fall of 2017. This year’s planned activities include:
- preliminary testing of suction dredge equipment and removal methods (in Bouchie Lake in the Cariboo) for the effective treatment of flowering rush in the Hatzic Lake area
- an information session with the Dewdney Area Improvement District, lakeshore residents and other stakeholders in the Hatzic Lake area
- full-scale testing of suction dredge equipment in part of the Lower Hatzic Slough
- review of options for the design and installation of a containment system to stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants from Hatzic Lake to the Fraser River
- preparations for a phased removal of invasive aquatic plants from Hatzic Lake in 2017
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“Invasive aquatic plants can have a negative impact on local ecosystems, interfere with recreational boaters and swimmers, and create problems for water distribution systems. I appreciate the efforts of Simon Gibson, the local MLA, to raise the profile and importance of this issue. The significant investment we’ve made to rid Hatzic Lake of harmful flowering rush could serve as a model for the long-term control of invasive aquatic plants elsewhere in B.C.”
Simon Gibson, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission –
“I’m pleased to see the progress that’s being made to control invasive plant species in Hatzic Lake and its connected waterways. The Hatzic Lake Aquatic Invasive Plant Action Plan will help minimize negative impacts on water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational activities in the area.”
- Hatzic Lake is a large and fairly shallow body of water just east of Mission that drains into the Fraser River.
- Invasive plants are non-native plants whose introduction to British Columbia cause (or are likely to cause) economic damage, environmental damage or harm to human health.
- Many invasive plants that make their way to B.C. are not kept in check by natural enemies that would limit their growth within their native ranges.
- Invasive plants can spread rapidly, crowd out native species, alter ecosystems and become dominant in both natural and managed areas.
Information about invasive flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus): https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/invasive-species/Publications/SpeciesAlerts/Flowering_Rush_july2014.pdf
Early Detection Rapid Response Program for B.C. Invasive Plants: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca