Members of MVFN are invited to join the Mississippi Lake Association’s citizen-science project to survey the lake for invasive weeds. There are three phases to the project but all training is virtual with the field work taking place July 24th or 25th.
Phase One: Webinar on June 16th hosted by the MLA and the Invasive Species Centre to discuss several IAS already found in the lake, the economic impact of IAS and how to use EDDMapS. This webinar is open to anyone interested in IAS. To register use this link.
Phase Two: a second webinar will be held on June 29th and will only involve the volunteers who will be helping conduct the survey on Mississippi Lake. It will cover the ‘operational’ aspects of how to conduct the survey. We will review the key species that we are looking for, how to identify them, how to take samples and record locations using EDDMapS and on paper. We will also review the survey kit that each set of volunteers will be receiving. Prior to Phase 3 (outlined below) MLA will be delivering the sample kits to everyone so that they are prepared for the survey.
Phase Three: Volunteers will go out on the lake to assigned locations on the 24th of July (rain date of July 25th) and look for IAS in the water in their assigned areas. Volunteers can go out at any time during the day; however, we do recommend morning or late afternoon as wind conditions are typically more favourable at those times for viewing into the water. Samples will be collected by the volunteers and can be kept in fridges (in Ziploc bags) for several days. Members of the MLA will make arrangements to gather all the samples afterwards and will then review the samples to determine if they are IAS or not.
Volunteers will be provided kits which include a field guide, Ziploc bags, a sharpie and a map of the lake. Volunteers will need their own form of transport on the lake – a kayak or canoe or even a paddleboard work very well for visibility and for accessing the samples. Recognizing that not all volunteers live on the lake, the MLA will make efforts to find host launch properties for the volunteers. The MLA strongly recommends that volunteers work in pairs for safety.