Programs| Invasive Species Management
Outcompetes other plant species
Develops dense monocultures with up to 200 stems per square metre
Impacts include changes to hydrology, nutrient cycling, habitat loss for wildlife, along with economical impacts
Brucedale Phragmites Fight
Brucedale Conservation Area, owned by the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, is located in Bruce County within the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario. The coastal marshes at Brucedale are a small piece of the larger Provincially Significant MacGregor Point Wetland Complex.
Phragmites australis (Common Reed), a non-native, invasive grass has become widespread throughout southern Ontario. Phragmites can out compete other plant species and develop into a dense monoculture stand with up to 200 stems per square metre. Impacts on coastal wetlands include changes to hydrology, nutrient cycling and lost habitat for wildlife.
Phragmites is not just a problem for ecology; it is also impacting local economies, particularly shoreline communities. It impacts property values, and reduces recreational opportunities. Phragmites control action is a priority for this area due to the negative impact this plant is having on the ability of the park visitors to see and enjoy the lake.
Enbridge has provided funding to control this invasive plant and begin restoration of the wetland at Brucedale. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, and the Municipality of Kincardine are working in partnership with Enbridge to remove the Phragmites, improve wetland habitat, reduce human impacts on wetland health, and provide educational opportunities for local residents and school groups.
The long awaited amphibious cutter is here!
This specialized, phrag-fighting machine is the first of it's kind in Canada. This machine allows for more efficient management of phragmites by cutting low and high
density patches using specialized blade attachments,
and removing the phragmites using the basket loader
as shown in the video.
In the 4 days that this machine was at Brucedale, the contracted team made a huge impact on the waterfront.
Areas at Brucedale CA that were treated with herbicide in the previous year were reported as having no regrowth in 2016. The areas that were cut in 2015 had a significantly reduced density of Phragmites stems. Cutting activities were continued, but herbicide use was reduced because of the higher water levels. Amphibians, Great Blue Herons, Great Egret's and a number of other wetland birds were reported to be using the wetlands.
Brucedale CA was designated as high priority due to the invasion of Phragmites impacting the ability for park visitors to enjoy the waterfront. An estimated 1.5 hectares of Phragmites was removed from the Brucedale Conservation Area using gas powered reciprocating saws. The removed Phragmites was contained and burned, and the site was monitored for regrowth into the Fall.