The provincial government is providing $262,600 to the Fraser Valley Regional District to help address invasive aquatic plant impacts in a lake system near Mission.
The funding will support the development of a remediation and management plan for Hatzic Lake, with input from stakeholders and various levels of government (local, provincial, federal and First Nations).
A primary focus of the project is to implement containment and control activities related to the invasive aquatic plant known as flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus).
“I’ve heard from so many people in the area that have been asking for help in this regard for years. So this is a good start to deal with the issue,” said Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith.
The remediation and management plan will address water quality and invasive species issues in the lake. The plan will identify ways to reduce the current effects of flowering rush, prevent further impacts, improve aquatic habitat and protect species at risk.
A two-year Hatzic Lake Aquatic Invasive Plant Action Plan was created in 2016 to target flowering rush and more generally assess and control the spread of invasive aquatic plants in the lake and connected sloughs.
“This (funding) is a way of helping towards enacting some of the recommendations,” said D’Eith.
FVRD chair Jason Lum said the funding “is a significant step forward toward addressing the long-term health of Hatzic Lake and developing a multi-jurisdictional management plan.
“We look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders, including First Nations, as we collaborate and ensure a healthy future for this valuable resource.”
Last summer, Hatzic Lake was closed to swimmers after reports of itchy skin and discoloured water. Dead fish were also discovered in the water.