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Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne

Posted by Colin Becker 
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Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
25 March, 2011 14:51
Greetings,

The attached press release just in from WI

Best Wishes,

Colin Becker
GMY Chang Sha

==============begins==================
Lough Erne Invasive Species Group Established

An inter-agency strategic response to the previously unseen levels of
aquatic weed-growth on Lough Erne has been initiated. Called the Lough Erne
Invasive Species Group (LEISG) the group is a sub-group of the Lough Erne
Management Consultative Committee which is facilitated by Fermanagh District
Council. Members of the group include Northern Ireland Environment Agency
(NIEA), Waterways Ireland, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL)
Inland Fisheries, Destination Fermanagh and the Department of Agriculture
and Rural Development.

A specific threat has been identified in an invasive weed first identified
in Lough Erne a number of years ago but which spread dramatically in 2010.
Commonly called 'Nuttall's Pondweed', the weed has survived the winter
period in significant quantities and the potential for further growth has
implications for recreation and tourism in Co Fermanagh for which a
multi-agency response is warranted.

The inter-agency group has gathered information about Nuttall's Pondweed and
is developing appropriate management strategies which will be implemented by
the relevant agencies in a co-ordinated manner. Weed-cutting and harvesting
has been identified as the most appropriate control measure available at
present. In the event that intervention is required in 2011, weed-cutting
will be undertaken by Waterways Ireland within the marked navigation
channels at the appropriate time in the growth cycle of Nuttall's Pondweed.
In addition a trial using "trailing cutting knives" will take place in April
to ascertain if this technique increases the effectiveness of controlling
this particular weed.

The focus of Waterways Ireland's weed cutting will be primarily to keep the
main channel and then access to the public amenities open. Waterways Ireland
will also be harvesting the weed and sending it for composting to prevent
further spread.

Upper Lough Erne is a European Natura 2000 designated site and therefore
control measures must not undermine the conservation objectives of the area.

Management of the water levels is also seen to have a role in weed
management as Nuttall's Pondweed grows in up to 3 metres of water. The
review of water level control on the Erne system, as recommended in the July
2010 Flooding Taskforce report, will take into account flood risk,
recreational and environmental interests. LEISG will have an opportunity to
input into the review.

The group is advising individuals, groups or private commercial interests
wishing to undertake weed-cutting on Lough Erne to contact NIEA directly via
the contact details at www.nidirect.gov.uk to obtain permission.

For more information on Invasive Species see
[www.invasivespeciesireland.com].
==================ends=======================
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
26 March, 2011 22:07
i have encountered this plant last year on upper lough erne.
it made pike fishing impossible because of its dense growth.
now while i am all for whatever it takes to get rid of this plant i do have to say that cutting may not be the best way to approach this.

having read about this plant and its spread is seems to me that cutting it down only seems to benifit the plant in its spread. any loose cuttings can quickly grow into a new plant to i would be under the impression that harvesting would only be spreading !!

i found this article online: [www.invasivespeciesscotland.org.uk]

here is a quote from the above article in which it states that cutting WILL SPREAD THE PLANT FURTHER :

"As the plant spreads through fragmentation, mechanical controls should only be undertaken during mass developments and when the risk of spread to other water systems is minimal. Using mechanical controls during an ongoing invasion may promote the spread due to fragmentation."

i am sure you are aware of this already but i just thought i should post this info anyway.

good luck with the task in hand and i look forward to hopefully being able to fish the upper lough erne bays for pike again sometime in the not to distant future.

niall_b73
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
27 March, 2011 10:43
Niall, agreed, but I don't think IWAI have a voice on the new sub committee; I think I might have already voiced your view here and perhaps we've even studied the same piece of research. I used to work in that field but no more so have no input into their thoughts; although I notice that some of my exact words on here were repeated in the press release so maybe they do read this! But my take is that not many ppl in NI read or are members of this forum, a dozen or two at most, Al
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
27 March, 2011 14:33
We will keep an eye on their activities and progress.
?
Majella.

--- On Fri, 25/3/11, Colin Becker wrote:


From: Colin Becker
Subject: [waterways] Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
To: waterways[AG]iwai.ie, iwai-news[AG]iwai.ie
Date: Friday, 25 March, 2011, 14:51


Greetings,

The attached press release just in from WI

Best Wishes,

Colin Becker
GMY Chang Sha

=============?gins=================Lough Erne Invasive Species Group Established

An inter-agency strategic response to the previously unseen levels of
aquatic weed-growth on Lough Erne has been initiated. Called the Lough Erne
Invasive Species Group (LEISG) the group is a sub-group of the Lough Erne
Management Consultative Committee which is facilitated by Fermanagh District
Council. Members of the group include Northern Ireland Environment Agency
(NIEA), Waterways Ireland, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL)
Inland Fisheries, Destination Fermanagh and the Department of Agriculture
and Rural Development.

A specific threat has been identified in an invasive weed first identified
in Lough Erne a number of years ago but which spread dramatically in 2010.
Commonly called 'Nuttall's Pondweed', the weed has survived the winter
period in significant quantities and the potential for further growth has
implications for recreation and tourism in Co Fermanagh for which a
multi-agency response is warranted.

The inter-agency group has gathered information about Nuttall's Pondweed and
is developing appropriate management strategies which will be implemented by
the relevant agencies in a co-ordinated manner. Weed-cutting and harvesting
has been identified as the most appropriate control measure available at
present.? In the event that intervention is required in 2011, weed-cutting
will be undertaken by Waterways Ireland within the marked navigation
channels at the appropriate time in the growth cycle of Nuttall's Pondweed.
In addition a trial using "trailing cutting knives" will take place in April
to ascertain if this technique increases the effectiveness of controlling
this particular weed.

The focus of Waterways Ireland's weed cutting will be primarily to keep the
main channel and then access to the public amenities open. Waterways Ireland
will also be harvesting the weed and sending it for composting to prevent
further spread.

Upper Lough Erne is a European Natura 2000 designated site and therefore
control measures must not undermine the conservation objectives of the area.

Management of the water levels is also seen to have a role in weed
management as Nuttall's Pondweed grows in up to 3 metres of water. The
review of water level control on the Erne system, as recommended in the July
2010 Flooding Taskforce report, will take into account flood risk,
recreational and environmental interests. LEISG will have an opportunity to
input into the review.

The group is advising individuals, groups or private commercial interests
wishing to undertake weed-cutting on Lough Erne to contact NIEA directly via
the contact details at www.nidirect.gov.uk to obtain permission.

For more information on Invasive Species see
[www.invasivespeciesireland.com].
==================ends==============
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
27 March, 2011 15:09
Waterways Ireland collect the weed as they cut to minimise spread but expect they can't get 100%. However there are also others who cut and don't harvest.

Why did this weed suddenly appear everywhere last year and has never been a bother before? The last weed infestation was in 2004 and was a different (native) weed. Could there be deliberate introduction? but who would benefit?

Most of the literature seems to be concerned with much smaller lakes, draining is suggested as a method of removal.

As an aside and on a different topic was out on Lwr LE on Saturday ant the House Martins were back. Summer is surely coming.
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
27 March, 2011 17:19
Hanging over Carry Bridge yesterday as usual I noted considerable fragments coming down the river. There really isn't enough boat traffic yet to chop the quantities visible; does anyone know is someone cutting and not harvesting as per Mike above? I wondered too had it been deliberately introduced; maybe to then bring carp in to control it? Bit of a long shot I think but then who knows. I think it has spread throughout Ireland as it seems it originally escaped from a garden pond. Presumably with gold fish in it. Al
Re: Invasive Species Group set up on L. Erne
27 March, 2011 18:35
There must be some fish friendly chemical that could kill it.

OceanFroggie Noel Griffin

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