Photo by Jonathan Hackett

Photo by Jonathan Hackett

August has arrived, and it’s time to get Phrag-Busting!

We are excited to share with you our cut dates, map, and brand new bundling technique.

Cut Dates

Our biggest community cut this year will be in Charlie’s Channel on Saturday August 12th at 10am. White Contracting and Barging has generously donated a barge that will be at this site for the Aug 12/13 weekend—anyone who has Phrag cuttings for disposal may drop them off at this time!  

We really need volunteers to help out, so we hope that you will join us at any or all of the following cuts as well (more dates to follow):

  • Sunday, August 6th at Bide-a-Wee Channel (10am)
  • Monday, August 7th at the Walshes’/Lades’ (10am)
  • Tuesday, August 8th at the McKees’ (10am)
  • Saturday, August 19th at the South Bay bridge(9am)
  • Sunday, August 20th at Medicine Island (10am)
  • Monday, August 21st at the Shields’ (10am)

Please note that cuts may be cancelled the morning-of due to inclement weather (a little rain won’t hurt, but thunder and lightning we want to avoid!). We may not be able to send mass cancellation emails at short notice, so please check the weather and use your own judgment!!! When in doubt, contact a Phrag Buster to find out whether the cut is still on.  

As always, please bring sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, work gloves, water shoes/boots with a tough sole, gardening shears/clippers or underwater power cutters, brown paper leaf bags or twine optional. Please do NOT use exacto knives (they break) and DO keep an eye out for poison ivy!

Map

If you’re curious to know where all the Phrag is in Honey Harbour and surrounding areas, please check out our Phrag busting map created in conjunction with Cognashene Phrag busters Jack and Sam.

Sites where the diamond icons have been changed into stars simply mean that we’ve already made contact with the property owner (or a neighbour nearby). If there is Phrag on or near your shoreline and you need help making a plan to get rid of it, please get in touch!

Contact Us

Email Kristin Koetsier: ph: 519-636-3731

Email Conor Sweetnam: ph: 647-892-4778

The Honey Harbour Association has recently purchased it OWN gas-powered cutter! Please contact us if you would like to borrow it. 

Bundling

The best way to dispose of Phragmites is still to cut it below the waterline and burn the stalks. However, tying dense clumps of Phragmites together with twine before (or after) cutting it down can make carrying the cuttings to the drying/burning site a lot easier! Even if you are not able to burn it, bundling Phrag before piling it onshore makes it a lot less likely to re-root since it reduces contact with the ground and you can turn the piles more easily. We cannot recommend this method enough!

Native Phrag stems.

Native Phrag stems.

What is the Difference Between Native Phrag and Invasive Phrag?

Still confused as to how to tell native and invasive Phrag apart? The easiest way is to look at the stem colour. Native Phrag has bright shiny red patches interspersed with beige/green, as shown in the photo below. In contrast, invasive Phrag stems are just green fading to beige at the waterline, although they occasionally have a slight purplish tinge. 

Native Phrag sites should be monitored in future years just to make sure they don’t hybridize with or get taken over by the invasive variety!

Happy Phrag busting, and we look forward to seeing you at a community cut soon!


Below, you will find some of our older posts from previous Phrag Busting events and more information about Phragmites


Phrag Cutting Demo This Saturday, July 22

Please join members and student Phrag busters Kristin & Conor from HH, along with Phrag Busters from CCA and GBF to learn best practices for cutting Phragmites! Drop by this Saturday morning on the main channel just before Tomahawk (exact location marked by dot on map below). Bring your family and friends. This will not be a full-fledged cut, but rather a casual opportunity for you to learn hands-on about good removal methods! If you have any questions about how to tackle Phragmites, please drop in for however long or short you would like. If you have any garden clippers, shears, or gas-powered cutters that you wish to try out on a Phrag patch, please feel free to bring them along.

We will have our new Phrag cutter there if you would like to learn how to use it. There will also be discussion on disposal options of the stalks and demo “logs” made. 

Please bring your own: drinking water, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, gloves, hard-bottomed shoes that can get wet, hipwaders and/or clothes that can get wet from the waist down.

Please be aware that the Phrag patch is only accessible by walking through knee-to-waist-high water with rocky footing. The two cottages to the east of the Phrag patch have kindly offered to let participants use their dock space, and there is also a sandy area to the left of the docks where some boats may wish to beach. 

The perfect time to cut Phrag near you is loosely between July 24 and Aug 11th(before it flowers). Please remember a bin for disposal will be available on Aug 12thin Charlie’s Channel. Now is a great time to start planning your local neighbourhood cuts!


The Phrag-Busters are Back

They're back! The Phrag-Busters Kristin Koetsier and Conor Sweetman are out on the Bay, and they're looking forward to meeting you.

They are currently scouring the shores of Honey Harbour looking for phragmites stands. They're armed with lots of information on this invasive species, and they want to share this knowledge with everyone possible- most importantly, how to identify phragmites and steps to properly eradicate it from your property. If you see the boat The Bay Keeper be sure to wave!

Would you like to schedule a cottage visit by one of our Student Ambassadors? If so, please contact Kathryn Davis.

You can also come and meet Kristin and Conor at our Annual General Meeting in July. We look forward to seeing you!


Read about our past Phrag-Busting Activities


COMMUNITY CUT IN CHARLIE’S CHANNEL

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Many thanks to the hardworking volunteers who made the community cuts in South Bay and Bide-a-Wee Channel so successful! We cut a ton of Phrag!

We’ve made great progress but there’s still more Phrag to go! This Sunday we will be clipping seed heads off and cutting some of the patch on the south side of Charlie’s Channel.

This is a really big stand to tackle, so we may not be able to cut all of it down, but the more people that come out to help the more progress we’ll make! We will be holding this event on Sunday rain or shine, continuing on Monday if lightning strikes!

Please bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, gloves, water shoes/boots with a tough sole, and gardening shears/clippers. 

If you’ve yet to tackle your own Phrag, please keep in mind that some stands are starting to flower and seed heads may develop soon after. If you see flowers or seed heads, please make sure to clip them off and bag them for proper disposal! (You can burn them in leaf bags or let them melt in the sun in garbage bags for a few days before throwing them out). Please also keep in mind that a fire ban is still on. 

If you have any questions, please contact Kristin or Robert.


Honey Harbour Association featured on Georgian Bay Forever's website (see below) for organizing phragmites cuts.  Members of the community have already cleared large areas of phrag.  Click on the story below to read more.


It’s Phrag-busting time!

In 2016, members of the Honey Harbour Association and others from the community joined forces in the fight against invasive phragmites, a plant that is rapidly taking over shorelines and wetlands on Georgian Bay.  

We want to do even more this year, and we need your help!

Growing in tall dense stands, this unsightly reed crowds out native vegetation and traps local animals trying to reach the shoreline!  A major threat to biodiversity (not to mention your enjoyment of the waterfront), this invasive species has got to go!  But it’s going to take a high level of community involvement in order to tackle this problem, since phragmites spreads so easily.  That’s why the Honey Harbour Association is partnering with Georgian Bay Forever to coordinate cutting efforts this summer, and we need as much help with cutting and clearing as we can get. 

Please send Kristin an email at kkoetsie@uwo.ca or drop by the 2017 AGM to give us your contact info if you wish to remain informed as details are finalized. 

Bag That Phrag!

Exciting News!  This year we are planning a "drop off" event.  At both of the above cuts you will be able to bring your bagged Phrag and put it in the dumpster (donated by A&A again this year!) 

We are able to sign for volunteer hours for high school students.

It is important to note that phragmites must be cut and disposed of properly to prevent further spread.  Please get in touch with us for directions before tackling a stand of your own.  

We look forward to working with you on this important community issue!


Phragmites Workshop April 2016

Learn More


Momentum Builds as Phragmites Education Lends Positive Results

Read more.


Phragmites Eradication Efforts are Underway

Learn more about how you can help fight this invasive species.