two thousand twenty
Subscribe to Wayne County Life RSS post feed
Subscribe to Wayne County Life RSS comment feed
Subscribe to Wayne County Life by email
Wayne County Life on Facebook
SUBMITTED by Dave Scudder, Sodus Bay Improvement Association (9-Jul-2010)

Background: Most of you have at least heard about the Water Chestnut (Trapa natans L.). It's an invasive, aggressive, inedible, exotic aquatic plant and it would like to take over the waters of Sodus Bay out to a depth of 10-12 feet.

Records document its presence south of Bay Bridge for over 20 years. Only hand harvesting was allowed there until recently. Hand harvesting by volunteers was not up to the magnitude of the task. It was inevitable that it would make its way into the bay proper and it has.

The plant is an annual. Its triangular, toothed, glossy leaves with their flotation bladders form a rosette, 4" - 18" in diameter, that floats on the surface of the water. In late June or early July it blooms with small white flowers having four petals each. These will mature into nutlike seeds by mid to late July. At this point the mature seeds auto amputate and are free to move about in the water column. Although most of the seeds will germinate the next season, they can remain viable for up to 12 years. Seeds can also get caught in the underpinnings of waterfowl and fur of water habitat mammals. This latter transport mechanism likely moves the plant longer distances.

Point: We need your help. SOS has organized a hand pulling event each of the past four years as part of a concerted effort to eradicate water chestnut in a twenty acre area at the mouth of Second Creek. That effort continues.

Last year an ad hoc group of SBIA members and friends were out on two occasions to hand harvest rosettes with seeds. In aggregate we gathered three rowboats full. We were too late (August) and some of the seeds had already freed themselves from the plant.

On Saturday, July 10th interested parties are encouraged to meet at Connelly's Cove at 9:00 a.m. Canoes and kayaks work best but a small aluminum boat with oars or paddles also works. Bring sunscreen and hydration. Don't forget your PFD. There will be some powered boats to tow you to the work site north of Oak Park Marina or you can meet us there at about 9:30 a.m. This year we will have one of the large mechanical harvesters present to accept what we harvest, a huge help.

A monolithic stand of water chestnuts is bad for everything that we enjoy about the bay. We are under siege. Hand harvesting is a great outdoor experience for all ages. We need to harvest over 90% or we're losing the battle!


You can make a comment, or trackback from your own site.

0 Comments to "Water Chestnuts vs. Water Recreation"

Post a Comment

Most Viewed - Last 30 days

Going Green

Church Life