Kamloops Naturalist Club’s Tranquille Wetland Restoration Project
Over the past month TNCC has been collaborating the Kamloops Naturalists Club on an invasive weed control project at the Tranquille Wetland, located on the North Shore of the South Thompson River. Read this article to learn more about the history of the Secwépemc people and Tranquille, which is where the river widens to form Kamloops Lake.
This wetland, originally planted with reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) for cattle forage decades ago, is now overrun with the invasive grass species which forms a dense monoculture that chokes out native plants in the area.
According to the report “Conservation Status of Species and Ecosystems in the Thompson-Nicola Region“:
Wetlands are rare on the landscape and provide important habitats for amphibians like the Great Basin Spadefoot, waterfowl and shorebirds. They also support invertebrates that feed many animals, like the Endangered Little Brown Myotis (bat)… Several studies suggest that low elevation wetlands… have declined by ~80%.
The Kamloops Naturalist Club (KNC) has a plan to create a viewing platform in the wetland to encourage more people to become naturalists, learn about Secwépemc land use in the region, and learn about the native plants that would naturally be found in the area.
Tranquille Wildlife Management Area provides staging and resting habitat for the spring and fall migration of Canada goose, swans and other wetland species. Mallard, goldeneye and wood ducks nest in the area. In addition, shorebirds and passerine species are abundant. The presence of large numbers of prey species attracts raptors, including bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, and prairie, gyr and peregrine falcon. Mule deer, beaver, muskrat, coyote, black bear and river otter have been recorded in the area, but only coyote are sighted frequently. The flooded meadows support carp spawning habitat, and some salmonid rearing habitat. Rare species present include tall beggarticks, awned cyperus, small-flowered ipomopsis.
To control the reed canarygrass in the area and make way for this viewing platform, KNC enlisted the expertise of Dr. Catherine Tarasoff with Agrowest Consulting and help from volunteers to remove the stems of this grass and lay down a solid benthic barrier stretching a 75×35 ft area. This barrier smothers the invasive grass, preventing light and air from reaching the plants to reduce their growth.
This experimental method of control for reed canarygrass will be monitored for its efficacy of controlling the grasses and KNC will replant the region with native sedges and wildflowers to help with restoration.
Photos: Dr. Catherine Tarasoff