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Water temperature, depth, water quality and lake usage all play a part in weed quantity.
The lake weeds multiply when they break up, float around, and then establish new colonies. A new plant can start from a tiny piece of an existing one.
The most common form of weed in Chestermere Lake is the Northern Milfoil.
Last Updated: June 8, 2022
The City operates three aquatic weed harvesters and a barge. They operate from July 1 – Aug 31 each year. Depending on weed growth, harvesters may begin cutting earlier or cut later into September. The harvesters cut and remove lake weeds and other debris to ensure that Chestermere Lake remains safe for recreational and boating activities. Harvesting also reduces the clogging of the Western Irrigation District (WID) irrigation system.
A breakdown of weed harvesting volumes from 2018 to 2021 is below:
On average, seasonal staff spend about 2,040 hours in total on the harvesting program. This results in regularly removing over 200 trailer loads of lake weeds, ultimately being converted into compost material.
Last Update: June 8, 2022
The harvester operators follow a set schedule based on the historical prevalence and location of weeds. Although they typically adhere to a regular “route”, picking up where they left off the day before, this route may vary depending on operator discretion. They also focus on floating weed masses and known areas with high weed populations.
The harvester machine can only cut weeds down to a depth of 2m. This means that the weeds still grow on the lake bottom. As such, this program keeps weed growth in check during the season but does not prevent them from growing.
Every summer, the lakefront owners help out by collecting floating weeds and hand harvesting weeds on and around their shoreline.
This task involves putting the weeds into lake weed carts that are picked up by the City's Environmental Services team for a 12-week period in the summer months.
This collaboration ensures that Chestermere Lake continues to be a key recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.
The lake weeds are hauled by truck to the City’s Eco Centre.
About the Compost: the lake weeds are deposited, screened of debris, turned regularly for several months, and mixed with other soil to create good compost material. The process takes place for approximately one year. The larger clumps are screened out and the remaining compost is made available to residents.
Picking Up Compost: Residents must bring their own shovels and bins: these are not provided at the depot. Staff are not available to help load material. Please take only what you need - you cannot take a full truckload.