Biannual Flowering Rush Pull Parties
One of the ways that the Lakes Commission works to control invasive species in our waters is to host bi-annual flowering rush pull parties. These parties occur at low water in the spring and the fall with the intention of removing flowering rush from some of our high use public shoreline areas. Flowering rush is rapidly invading Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River. Once the rush is established it will make a bay area non-navigable by boat or swimmer. There is currently no known treatment method for managing rush. The only way to slow its expansion is to carefully remove the plant and it’s hardy rhizome system from the soils when the water is down.
The pull parties are powered by citizen volunteers, numerous supportive agencies, and non-profit organizations. The events are held around Earth Day and Halloween. We focus on the City Beach, Windbag, and Dog Beach areas. Digging flowering rush is hard and dirty work in unpredictable weather, but it also very fulfilling. Knowing that we are helping to maintain these precious public areas for future generations makes the work well worth it!
School Aged Education
- Water Festival – For almost 20 years most of the fifth graders in Bonner
County have been attending the annual Water Festival. This two-day event teaches about the natural and human history of the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille watershed. The Festival was initiated and organized by the Tri-State Water Quality Council until 2012 when the Council closed its doors. It was picked up by the Bonner Soil and Water Conservation District and many partners including the Lakes Commission. This event is typically held at Riley Creek in the third week of May.
Spring Field Trips to the WaterLife Discovery Center– The Lakes Commission organizes field trips for second and third graders to the WaterLife Discovery Center. The Center is located on Idaho Department of Fish and Game property at the old fish hatchery on Lakeshore Drive. Students cycle through four stations on the field trip at which they are taught by professionals about native fish, macroinvertebrates, water quality and more. The trips are staffed by volunteers and monies to support the trips come from the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited.