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Floating reed bog heralds early spring cleanup

Piles of dead reeds emerge from the receding ice just offshore from the Lakelse Lake Provincial Park picnic site. - Josh Massey
Piles of dead reeds emerge from the receding ice just offshore from the Lakelse Lake Provincial Park picnic site.
— image credit: Josh Massey

By Josh Massey

Visitors to the picnic beach at Lakelse Lake provincial park will notice what looks at first glance a floating bog lurking at the edge of the ice along the shoreline.

Lorraine Kerbrat from BC Parks has lived on Lakelse since 1981 and says that the approaching masses of organic material is a normal part of spring thaw. What's unusual is how soon the debris is coming ashore this year.

“We get a lot of old plant matter from the weed beds. Reeds break off in the ice and get washed up onto the beach,” Kerbrat said, adding that the ice broke February 11, the earliest she has seen.

Provincial parks maintenance staff will contend with the natural spring mess early this year if the weather continues its warming trend, which will include dealing with a huge fallen conifer on the same stretch of beach, most of which will be left as shelter for small fauna.

Angler Wayne Haw said the reed piles portend a hefty spring cleanup. “There could be a hundred tons under there. We'll have to wait for the ice to thaw to see.”

 

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