Informational meeting hosted by Friends of Lois Creek - Pressure Washer
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Informational meeting hosted by Friends of Lois Creek

Informational meeting hosted by Friends of Lois Creek

The Friends of Lois Creek conducted an information session on June 30 to give some details about the improvements that are currently going on there.

The first visitors saw Aqua Stellaria Organic Weed Control, a business in East Kootenay, employ Satusteam technology to stop the growth of spotted knapweed in Lois Creek. This method steam fries the weeds in the ground by using a modified pressure washer to treat the weeds with saturated steam.

Lois Creek host information session

For the first time this year, Friends of Lois Creek, who have been working for years to clear invasive Blueweed and Knapweed from the well-known Powerline trail, have chosen to collaborate with Aqua Stellaria.

Pets and other creatures are safe from the treatment’s zero chemical use. June 5 saw the first therapy, and June 30 saw the second. Normally, the procedure necessitates three treatments.

The initial treatment destroys the present plant, but because it heats the soil layer, it also causes the seed crop to sprout. The first and second generations of the first weed are eliminated by the second treatment, and the germinated seed itself is eliminated by the third treatment.

After that, Wildsight’s Tim Chapman, Mike Robinson, CEO and Senior Aquatic Ecologist of Lotic Environmental, and Ryan MacDonald, Senior Hydrologist at MacDonald Hydrology Consultants Ltd. presented information on the status of the Lois Creek Wetlands Project.

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The Friends of Lois Creek, according to Rod Chapman, approached Wildsight a few years ago to let them know that turning a portion of the property back into wetlands was a goal.

Tim Chapman of Wildsight took the initiative and was successful in getting the project a roughly $80,000 grant from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Tim mentioned that they had received an additional $7200, and Rod mentioned that the Friends of Lois Creek also earned a $4000 Community Grant from the City of Kimberley.

To make room for the route rerouting, significant riparian planting, and wetland restoration, it is planned to remove an existing, nearly 20-year-old culvert.

At the junction of Florence’s Gully and the Powerline Trail is where the construction site is situated. The access track from the Elko St. Entrance that descends to the Florence’s Gully track will be rerouted, according to Chapman. According to him, Chapman’s crew will help with execution while the Kimberley Trails Society will take the initiative on that in terms of design and logistics.

To analyze and address a recently found population of brook trout, an invasive fish species that may be endangering the creek’s native cutthroat trout population, is necessary before this work can start.

Tim stated that MacDonald has been a direct collaborator on this project and that during the preliminary rounds of funding applications, MacDonald had submitted a letter of support for Wildisght. He continued by saying that because MacDonald and Robinson had previously collaborated on numerous projects, MacDonald had confidence in Robinson’s knowledge when it came to fish.

According to Robinson, brook trout are likely present in the system as a result of prior provincial stocking. They will quickly supplant cutthroat and thrive in disturbed environments, such as those with high settlement loads, eroding banks, and cattle grazing.

A lot of study must be done before any work to remove them can begin. The main eradication technique is fishing, electrofishing, and in the worst cases, poisoning, which, according to Robinson, is probably not a possibility in this area.

Another strategy is to build a waterfall, making the crossing more like a dam with a spillway in the middle, blocking the brook trout from crossing.

As part of this operation, MacDonald remarked, “We were considering installing a barrier and attempting to remove brook trout upstream.” “And after that, once we’re sure we’ve got the brook trout out, we’ll start doing more channel work.”