The Dryden office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is working to prevent and control the spread of multiple invasive species in Dryden.

On August 1 and 2, staff with the MNRF, including biologists, students in the Summer Employment Opportunity Program, and Stewardship Youth Rangers in the Dryden District First Nations Youth Employment Program worked to remove European frog-bit – an invasive species – from the Laura Howe Marsh.

Volunteers with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Park’s Ontario staff also assisted in the initiative, to remove the water-impeding flora.

The MNRF says that the Larua Howe Marsh is home to a wide-variety of native flora and wildlife, including frogs, great blue herons and turtles. The two kilometre wetlands trail features both forest and aquatic wildlife as well.

The European frog-bit is found in areas with limited wave action, slow-moving water, sheltered inlets, ponds, rivers and ditches. It forms large, dense floating mats of intertwining plants that may compete with native submerged plants for light and nutrients, and can impede water flow, watercraft and recreational activities.

The plant has become widespread in the Wabigoon and Dinorwic lakes near Dryden, crowding out native aquatic plants, including wild rice.

The ministry encourages residents to wash their boat between visiting different lake areas, and to be aware of the invasive species in the area – including Rusty Crayfish and Spiny water flea on Eagle Lake, and Purple loosestrife.

In addition to removing the European frog-bit, the ministry is also working to remove Purple loosestrife from local lakes in the area, for the eighth consecutive year in partnership with Domtar, Eagle Lake First Nation and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation.