Mil­foil foiled

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

“Mis­sion ac­com­plished.” North Glen­garry coun­cil heard promis­ing news at its re­cent meet­ing af­ter dis­cov­er­ing the mil­foil build-up in Loch Garry has been re­moved so boaters can cruise the wa­ters of the lake with­out their crafts be­ing snagged by the sticky sub­stance. Loch Garry Lake As­so­ci­a­tion di­rec­tor Bernard McDonell said there is no need to re-stock the lake this year with wee­vils, the bee­tle-type in­sects that eat Eurasian mil­foil weed and break it down in the wa­ter. Mr. McDonell said the wee­vils that were stocked over the past three years have been ag­gres­sive in at­tack­ing the un­wanted veg­e­ta­tion af­ter they were in­tro­duced at var­i­ous sites at the north end of the lake.

“The ex­ist­ing ones can do their job. There has been a no­table im­prove­ment in the lake,” he said, adding last year the mil­foil didn’t have a chance to flower.

There has been a com­plete col­lapse of mil­foil at all the orig­i­nal stock­ing sites, based on the find­ings of Mil­foil So­lu­tions Inc., the com­pany that sup­plied and stocked the wee­vils. The to­tal cost of the project was $150,000, or $50,000 an­nu­ally for three years with the town­ship contributi­ng $40,000 an­nu­ally and the as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers $10,000 each year. “The res­i­dents are happy,” Mr. McDonell said. “The real proof will be this Spring when they see to what ex­tent the wee­vils come back into the lake again.”

He ad­vised coun­cil that Mil­foil So­lu­tions Inc. has ceased op­er­a­tions af­ter con­clud­ing wee­vils were not prof­itable. As well, the firm faced a new chal­lenge -- lo­cat­ing wee­vils in other fresh-wa­ter lakes that were free of ze­bra mus­sels, an in­va­sive species that would be col­lected along with the wee­vils.

“You are not al­lowed to trans­port any live en­tity (such as a wee­vil) from a lake that has mus­sels,” noted Mr. McDonell. Loch Garry ap­peared much im­proved in a pho­to­graph Mr. McDonell pre­sented to coun­cil. The wa­ter is clear in­stead of the muddy hue it had be­fore the town­ship started the mil­foil erad­i­ca­tion cam­paign. Mayor Chris McDonell ob­served: “It’s good news. We were suc­cess­ful in our ven­ture.”

Coun. Jac­ques Massie agreed. “Thank you and your vol­un­teers,” he said to Bernard McDonell. “To­gether we saved a beau­ti­ful lake.”

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