Project Watershed is Battling Reed Canary Grass
Few species will eat it and it grows too thickly for animals or waterfowl to use it for cover or nesting. Foraging juvenile salmon have feeding opportunities reduced in areas dominated by this grass. It also out-competes trees and shrubs which provide important stream-side cover and keep water temperatures cooler. In particular, dense stands are starting to form in the Hollyhock Marsh conservation area, Dyke Slough and the lower reaches of Mallard Creek. In fact it is starting to constrict the creek impeding fish access.
As part of our work to control and manage this invasive grass we have been doing some test treatments. Specifically mowing, mowing/shading (with cardboard) and digging it out. We are currently monitoring how effective these treatments are, and we will soon be developing a control plan for long-term management of this invasive plant. You may notice our crew out in the estuary this summer doing some of this work. If you come across areas where we are working on controlling the grass with cardboard we ask that you not disturb these sites.
We would like to acknowledge the financial support we have received for this project from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the cardboard that has been kindly held and donated by Mountain City Cycle.
We are looking for volunteers to help with this work. Specifically, we need volunteer help to:
1. Prepare cardboard – we have been using large bicycle boxes. All metal staples, tape, and plastic labels need to be removed from the boxes before we can use them for shading.
2. Prepare coat-hanger “stakes” for staking down cardboard shading. This involves using wire cutters to cut metal coat hangers, bending the hangers into stakes, and tying a piece of biodegradable flagging tape to each stake.
3. Lay out and stake cardboard over patches of mowed reed canary grass in the estuary. This work involves walking on uneven and slippery terrain.
4. Dig out small patches of reed canary grass.
Please contact Bea Proudfoot at: email@example.com or 250-703-2871.
Spring has sprung and we are busy planning for Earth Week 2021! Earth Week is April 16 – 22, and we will be celebrating our love for this planet with a host of activities to support the health of our Lands and Waters.
Spring – a great time for planting in your garden and in the intertidal/subtidal zones. Once again Project Watershed will be working to restore eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitats by undertaking transplants in areas where the eelgrass is sparse or missing as determined by our coastal nearshore habitat mapping work.
On October 23 and 24th, 2020, volunteers helped reclaim 150 meters of streamside along Mallard Creek.
Project Watershed needs volunteers to help us harvest willow cuttings, and then plant them alongside sections of Mallard Creek.
Join us on September 26th as we participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The cleanup will occur on the Kus-kus-sum property and the adjacent Hollyhock flats area. We will start at 10am and go til about noon.
The Kus-kus-sum project that Project Watershed is spearheading will not only create habitat for fish and wildlife, help mitigate climate, and increase green space, it will also help our community put reconciliation into action.
While many citizen science groups have begun conducting spring/summer forage fish spawning surveys, we still need a few more volunteers to cover some of the beaches in our area. Specifically we need volunteers for Quadra Island and Campbell River.
A variety of native plants, shrubs and trees will be established at Kus-kus-sum as part of the restoration process. This will not only provide food, shelter and habitat for fish and wildlife but also help mitigate climate change. Check out this video to find out more.