An invasive species workshop was held recently at Scout Island. (Photo submitted

An invasive species workshop was held recently at Scout Island. (Photo submitted

Invasive aquatic plants targetted at workshop

The project is funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Earlier this month, Invasive Species Council of B.C. (ISCBC) volunteers went to the Scout Island marsh in Williams Lake to weed out Yellow flag iris, an invasive aquatic plant that grows in dense mats.

It has a cheerful yellow flower, but its invasive habits leave much to be desired. It disrupts water flow and can reduce a marsh’s ability to purify water.

This plant alters the ecosystem along the shoreline and can reduce the concentration of macroinvertebrates (insects) from 600 per m2 to six per m2. This has a rippling effect on the entire food chain that depends on these insects for survival.

Members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, Tsilhqot’in National Government Rangers and ISCBC were led by Dr. Catherine Tarasoff through a presentation on Yellow flag iris and a field-based workshop treating a site at Scout Island.

Key learning included identification of the species, whose leaves can appear similar to Cattail, and the science behind its ability to rapidly spread and survive. The hands-on experience gave participants the skills and background to continue monitoring and treating Yellow flag iris in the Cariboo.

“It was an interesting site because we treated an area here last year,” says Camille Sangarapillai of ISCBC. It can take as little as one year to treat a Yellow flag iris site.

“Dr. Tarasoff seemed happy with the results and thought we may be able to remove the 2021 barrier after a check in October” adds Sangarapillai.

The project is generously funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Tai St. Pierre is the Cariboo outreach coordinator/youth facilitator for the Invasive Species Council of B.C.


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Volunteers target Yellow flag iris, an invasive aquatic plant, during a recent gathering at Scout Island. (Photo submitted)

Volunteers target Yellow flag iris, an invasive aquatic plant, during a recent gathering at Scout Island. (Photo submitted)

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