Phragmites working group efforts proving successful on Island

Phragmites are shown greening up in a ditch on Highway 540 at Honora

MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin Phragmites Project group is pleased that they achieved a major success in its work across the Island, last week.

“The Manitoulin Phragmites Project (MPP) was in the water last week, working with the Truxor cutting machines and the staff from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre. This is the project’s fifth summer working with the IPCC,” said Judith Jones, coordinator of MPP, last week. 

“We’ve been in the water with the Truxor machines cutting big time phragmites,” said Ms. Jones. “The work in South Bay on the shore of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory (WUT) on Monday and Tuesday went extremely well, and all the major cutting there is done.”

“There is still at least another summer of manual labour needed at the north end (on the WUT shore), but there are now no major patches of phragmites anywhere in South Bay from McGraw Point (WUT across from the ferry) all the way around to South Baymouth. There are still a few places with phragmites patches, but all the sites that we know of are under control. This is a major success after five years of work!” stated Ms. Jones.

Not all has gone well this year in the annual campaign to rid the area of phragmites, however. “We did not have good luck getting the (Truxor) machines into Lake Wolsey this year,” continued Ms. Jones. She explained, “it takes a lot of logistical planning to set up working with these machines. They come in on big trailers, which must be able to turn around. The machines themselves must be able to launch. There has to be a place to put a huge pile of cut material (as in dump truck loads). And on top of it all, we have to have halfway decent weather.”

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get everything to align, mainly because the road we intended to use for access was under water from all the rain, and because it was a windy, wavy week which made accessing from the bridge too long of a run. So, we’re going to try it again for next year,” added Ms. Jones.