Occasionally EKISC participates in research and scientific studies, particularly those that may lead to improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of chemical or biological control methods of invasive plant species or early detection of aquatic invasive species.
EKISC has partnered with, and receives funding from, the BC Ministry of Environment to monitor East Kootenay Lakes for the presence of zebra and quagga mussels. Each summer, field crews take to the water and collect water samples from high use lakes such as Wasa, Windermere, Columbia, Koocanusa, Tie, and Rosen. Samples are collected from water near boat launches, sites that are vectors for the introduction of aquatic invasive species. Water samples collected are sent to labs to be tested for the presence of veligers—larvae of the quagga and zebra mussels. As well as monitoring for the presence of mussels, crews also examine and identify submersed aquatic plants from these lakes to determine if there are invasive plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil, elodea, and hydrilla.
To date, neither invasive mussels or invasive aquatic plants have been found in East Kootenay lakes!
EKISC is working with the Research for the Kootenay Livestock Association. Established plots have been set up to monitor the response of invasive plants to herbicide treatment. These plants include spotted knapweed, sulphur cinquefoil, St. John's wort, Norway cinquefoil, and blueweed. These plants are a growing concern on East Kootenay rangeland.
EKISC is conducting an inventory of invasive plants in the Pickering Hills Range Unit. Our objective of the inventory is to help support management decisions with respect to invasive plant management that improves rangeland condition.
EKISC is also conducting roadway surveys. The information we hope to extract will answer two questions: Will/how far does spotted knapweed and blueweed move from roadsides into rangeland? Is EKISC being effective in preventing this from happening?
More information on our surveys will be available when the reports are completed.