What's the Rush?
Flowering rush is an invasive species not only on lakes but also invades, wetland areas, streams, rivers, and storm water retention ponds. It's also tolerant of fluctuating water levels, meaning it will grow in a riparian buffer or directly in the water. Flowering rush displaces native vegetation such as rushes and cattails which are primary habitat for wildlife and primarily waterfowl. This plant doesn't provide the necessities of shelter for our shoreline birds it also isn't strong enough for the red winged black bird to perch on leaving them to find other habitat elsewhere. Flowering rush depletes shoreline biodiversity not only of plants but of insects, birds, and mammals.
-Kelsey Norton, Nature Alberta
Flowering rush is present in Lake Isle and if this problem is not dealt with it will extend into Lac Ste. Anne as well. As mentioned above it has a severe negative environmental impact as well as decreases property values and can interfere with boating. We have an infestation in Lake Isle which has significantly increased in size from 2015 to 2017. We are working with Alberta Environment, Alberta Invasive Species, Alberta Agriculture, County of Parkland, County of Lac Ste Anne and several other agencies to mitigate its progress and eventually eradicate it. In 2016 test plots were treated with one of: multiple cutting via machine, hand removal, benthic barriers, the chemical “Reward” and the chemical “Habitat Aqua”. Alberta Environment analyzed these test plots in 2017 and they determined that the only viable course of action is to chemically treat the larger areas of Flowering rush.
There are also many small isolated patches of Flowering rush on Lake Isle that need to be removed by hand. We are in desperate need of volunteers to help with the digging of these patches to prevent further spread of Flowering rush to the rest of Lake Isle. If we do not dig these patches in the next 1-2 years the whole lake will be taken over by the invasive weed.
Click here for a map of the flowering rush dug by LILSA in 2018.
The Flowering rush on Lake Isle was mapped in 2015. Click here to see the 2015 map
The Flowering rush was mapped again in 2017. Please click here to see the 2017 map.
We would like to thank Alberta Ecotrust for the grant that funded all of the digging equipment, supplies advertising and promotional items for our 2018 digs. Thank you as well to Tanya Rushcall and Nicole Kimmel from Alberta Environment and Parks for all of their hard work helping with the flowering rush infestation.
Flowering rush is unfortunately, not the only invasive species found at our lakes. To learn more about other invasive plants found at Lac Ste Anne and Lake Isle click here.