Chatham-Kent – Water Lettuce is often used in water gardens, but is an invasive species. When Water Lettuce is introduced to watercourses and other natural waterbodies, it outcompetes native plant species, blocks water flow, negatively impacts fish communities and can impede recreational activities like boating and fishing.
A patch of Water Lettuce was recently discovered in McGregor Creek by Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) staff. To stop the spread of this species and arrest the ecological damage it can cause, staff took action to inform local landowners of the concern and to remove the plants.
On August 25, 2021, the LTVCA’s Species at Risk (SAR) field crew and Wetland Restoration Technician travelled down McGregor Creek by canoe, filling nine garbage bags full of Water Lettuce. The plants were then burned offsite to prevent any chance of it spreading.
To learn more about this invasive species, check out LTVCA’s Water Lettuce Invasive Species Alert flyer. To do your part to halt the spread of invasive species, never release aquarium plants into local watercourses or waterbodies. Always consider using native species for plantings on your property. If you spot additional Water Lettuce in McGregor Creek or other local, natural waterbodies, please report it through the EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) app on your cell phone or on-line and/or contact Vicki McKay at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program at http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/aquatic-plants/water-lettuce/.
Vicki McKay – LTVCA Species at Risk Biologist