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The optimum time to harvest is when the Milfoil is just about to surface, typically mid-July to end of August. Earlier operations are not viable as the plants are not within reach of the cutting table.
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The CSRD is currently working on developing a system to display where the machines have been and are currently working. Please keep checking our website for updates on this technology.
No the program operates within treatment timing windows developed with DFO and MOE.
The harvesting schedule has been developed over time with consultation with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Ministry of Environment, First Nations, and local government input.
The program uses a priority list starting with high-use recreation areas such as public swimming areas. Other determining factors include navigation, boating, access, the timing of plant emergence, traveling time, etc.
Not all aquatic plants (weeds) are the same. The CSRD only has approval to remove the invasive species Myriophyllum Spicatum (Milfoil) or Eurasian water Milfoil. It is important that native plants remain as they provide important habitat for fish. The program has equipment to remove Milfoil weed beds when the density is greater than 75% Invasive. Prior to removal each site is assessed to determine if native plant populations are present as for example the site between Sandy Pt. and Syphon Cr. typically is colonized with native species. The species distribution and density of the weed beds are continually changing as a result of environmental factors and invasive plant growth characteristics which requires annual adjustments of the treatment schedules. One analogy for understanding the native plant community is that "Aquatic plants are the forest for the fish".
Harvesting is cosmetic only and does not kill the plant. The harvester can cut up to 1.5 meters deep and load the harvested material on board for disposal. Harvesting is relatively quick at removing nuisance weed beds providing a safer recreation experience.
Rototilling is a much more expensive removal process but is more effective as it kills the plant. There are many limitations to where and when rototilling operations can be undertaken, but in general, the work window is in the autumn and winter when the plants are dormant and plant fragments are not viable.
By utilizing the two treatment techniques the program is able to reduce the nuisance impacts of Milfoil in high-use recreation areas and not have a detrimental impact on fish habitat.
Farmers' fields, large gardens, typically the closest dump site to the operations.
Call the CSRD if interested in having 60,000lbs of rotting plant biomass delivered, it does create quite an odor.