2020 09 04 Eurasian Water Milfoil
[Kingston, NB]- The New Brunswick Invasive Species Council and the Belleisle Watershed Coalition are asking boaters, anglers, and cottage owners to be on the look-out for Eurasian Water-Milfoil in Belleisle Bay after Dr. Meghann Bruce’s Research Team at the Canadian Rivers Institute observed the first known location of the highly invasive aquatic plant in the area.
The plants were observed at the mouth of the bay by Kingston Creek. “Not only the presence of the plants, but their location is concerning,” says Kristin Elton, Director for the NBISC. “The plant spreads by fragmentation and given how many boats come and go through that area, it is highly likely that pieces have been broken off and transported on propellers, hulls, etc. further into the bay itself where it will create new colonies.”
The research team had surveyed the same area in 2018 and did not find the invader, but given how quickly it has spread throughout other parts of the Saint John River, it is not surprising.
The Belleisle Watershed Coalition has been surveying publicly-accessible areas of the bay for EWM throughout the summer, and while they haven’t found any to date, most of the shoreline is privately owned. “Waterfront property owners hold the key to us tracking and preventing the spread of Eurasian Water Milfoil. If you think you have seen this plant in your waters, contact belleislewatershed@gmail.com” says Melissa Rafuse, Project Manager at the Belleisle Watershed Coalition.
The good news, says Elton, is that by identifying this new colony relatively early, measures can be taken to stop further spread into the bay. “Boaters need to avoid areas where the plant is growing (if possible) to limit the plants’ fragmentation into even more plants, and if you arrive back at your dock and notice plant material on your boat do NOT throw it back into the water; dispose of it in the trash on land instead.”
Eurasian water-milfoil has the potential to grow into thick, dense mats where it clogs waterways, chokes out other plant species, alters fish habitat, and ruins beaches. “It grows so dense in some areas that it can become very difficult to boat, swim, fish or kayak in these places.” says Rafuse.

Media Contact
Kristin Elton, Director
New Brunswick Invasive Species Council
(506) 262-6247
Melissa Rafuse, Project Manager
Belleisle Watershed Coalition
(902) 691-3162
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB