2021 Invasive Phragmites Management. Georgian Bay Forever Report.

15 Georgian Bay Forever Phragmites Report 2021 Matchedash Bay In 1996, Matchedash Bay Provincial Wildlife Area was designated a Ramsar Site, defining it as a Wetland of International Importance for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources (https://www.ramsar.org). The marshes of Matchedash Bay are the largest and most diverse on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron. This year GBF began exploring Matchedash Bay and its tributaries for invasive Phragmites. In previous years, GBF staff had noticed invasive Phragmites growth at the mouth of Matchedash Bay to Georgian Bay in the Waubaushene area along highway 400. Because of this, it was presumed invasive Phragmites could most likely be growing elsewhere in the area. With funding support from Habitat Stewardship Protection (HSP) and the Eastern Georgian Bay Initiative (EGBI as managed by Ganawenim Meshkiki) and partnerships built with the Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA), MTM Conservation Association, GBF mapped a total of 44 invasive Phragmites sites throughout the main Bay proper, the tributaries and surrounding marshes. This being the first year in Matchedash Bay, GBF faced many challenges tackling invasive Phragmites due to the inaccessibility of many sites and uncertainty when identifying sites as native or invasive. Many of the sites are located amongst vast stretches of cattail marshes that are too dense for a boat to reach, and water too deep for staff to walk to. Some sites were only accessible by canoe travel through beaver paths. Figure 14: Map of Matchedash Bay.