Lake Scugog: Our newest research project

Lake Scugog:  The Scugog Lake Stewards continue to try tojute find inexpensive environmental solutions for homeowners all around the lake who are overwhelmed by massive overgrowth of Eurasian watermilfoil off their shorelines.

This year we are conducting research on the use of a specific grade of jute matting to smother milfoil and yet allow native plants to regenerate.  Because of the weave of the matting any gases from decomposition can escape, yet ‘weed’ re-growth will hopefully be stifled.

We will be testing this jute matting at four different trial sites around the lake.  Using GPS co-ordinates, we will study the density of the invasive non-native milfoil and possible native species before we lay the mats.  Then on a very regular basis we will revisit the sites to determine its value over a two year period after the mats are installed.  The jute, laid in water no shallower than 3 ft. and only over invasive milfoil, should be effective for at least two years after which it will bio-degrade naturally.  We will be following a specific protocol; keeping in touch with Dr. Joe Caffrey, a pioneer of this work in Ireland.

In addition, we will also be testing the most effective method for us to install the jute and the specific grade of material that works best for us. This work is being carried out under special permits issued through the Trent Severn Waterway.  (See ‘Trent Severn Waterway shoreline permits’ in Google to see what methods of invasive aquatic ‘weed’ control are currently permitted.)

While this methodology has been successful in other countries on similar species, the Stewards need the scientific evidence of its effective use in our lake on our type of hybrid Eurasian watermilfoil in order to recommend its general use at this point.  We must also carefully assess not only its usefulness but also its safety in busy boating or swimming areas. We will keep you in touch about this research.

(A big thanks one more time to John Mackey of Port Perry Marina for the use of his large pontoon boat on a regular basis for our monitoring and research activities.)