* Grant awarded for the Outreach, Surveillance and Control of Invasive Water Soldier.
Eradicate Water Soldier from the Trent Severn Waterway. Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) is an aquatic invasive plant native to Europe and Northwest Asia. Most likely introduced by the disposal of water garden plants, Water Soldier was first discovered in the Trent Severn Waterway, near the Hamlet of Trent River, Ontario in 2008. The waterway is also home to hundreds of species of wildlife including birds, reptiles, fish and mammals, including some species at risk. This project aligns with the ISAP mandate in terms of preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species into new areas, and aiding in monitoring and control efforts to protect numerous wetlands/watersheds. These project goals align with the Invasive Species Strategic Plan in terms of: protecting and enhancing the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems; promoting the sustainable use of fisheries resources; and, developing greater knowledge of fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems. Water Soldier has also been listed as a priority species by the Council of the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers due to its invasive nature. In the absence of control of Water Soldier populations, this invasive plant will spread and infest new areas of the Trent River. In the absence of control in 2012 and 2013 the Water Soldier populations grew exponentially from 60 ha in Lake Seymour to over 150 ha by 2014. This impressive growth must be kept in check if we are going to gain any ground and ensure that water soldier does not invade new waters in Ontario, or reach international waters in Lake Ontario.