Sick of the seaweed while swimming at Island Park? Don’t you fret. North Glengarry Township will begin addressing the situation as of this Friday.
“The Township of North Glengarry recognizes that while the water lilies in Mill Pond are pretty when they’re blooming, the algae and Canada waterweeds create less than ideal swimming conditions,” said Tara Kirkpatrick, North Glengarry’s Communications Officer, by way of a June 11 press release. “We remain committed to an aggressive strategy to reduce weeds in Mill Pond.”
The township uses a weed harvester, which it purchased in 2016, to deal with the weed situation. The bright orange machine is capable of navigating through shallow water at a slow crawl and removing weeds with extreme care. It is operated by a single driver who circles the lake in rotating patterns. The weeds collected are deposited on the shoreline and removed for composting.
Ms. Kirkpatrick says that the weed removal is done in a way that improves the local ecosystem.
“By removing nutrients from the lake (the weeds), we improved the fish habitat by promoting an increase in dissolved oxygen for aquatic life,” she says. “The harvester pulls weeds from depths up to around five feet and collects them for removal from the lake.”
“If we were to simply cut the weeds and allow them to sink to the bottom of the pond, we would be returning nutrients to the lake bed, which would aid in the proliferation of the Canada waterweed.”
The Township will ensure that spawning fish’s nests are well identified prior to the removal of the weeds.
Canada waterweed is an invasive and adaptable perennial plant that thrives in both moving and still water. It usually grows horizontally, forming a dense carpet of weeds. Although it sometimes reaches the water surface, this nuisance plant usually maintains stems and leaves that are completely submerged.
The Township received a Letter of Approval to begin the work after discussions with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans alongside the Raisin River Conservation Authority.