June 23, 2017 6:43 pm

Significant milfoil bloom predicted this summer in Okanagan lakes

Milfoil mowers harvests piles of the weed daily during the summer on Okanagan lakes.

Global Okanagan
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A cold winter combined with a predicted hot summer has the Okanagan Basin Water Board expecting a bad summer for milfoil weeds in valley bottom lakes.

“We’re expecting significant growth with weather that has created ideal conditions for the milfoil,” said board spokesperson James Littley in a news release.

The situation is compounded by some of the lakes freezing over this past winter preventing milfoil rototillers from uprooting operations in some locations.

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“The lakes just stayed frozen longer than we’ve seen in several years, meaning we couldn’t go in and remove the plants,” said Littley.

There is also concern floating debris from the flooding could damage the rototillers.

Public beaches are the priority areas for milfoil removal, which includes cutting the top two metres of the plants in the summer.

Treatment in front of private properties won’t happen until the beach work is completed.

“The overall message is that we ask folks to be patient if they see weeds in the water,” said Littley.

Boaters are asked to avoid areas where milfoil mats have formed on the water surface as breaking off pieces can spread the weeds.

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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