13 April 2013: Low Water having an impact on wetland vegetation

Imagine my surprise the other day when I went down to the lake to measure the water level and saw what looked like a foot floating in the water… well it turned out not to be a foot thank goodness. It is some kind of water lily rhizome, most likely that of the Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar Lutea) though I’ve never seen water_lily_rhizome02one that looks quite like this; then again, the other Yellow Pond Lily rhizomes I’ve seen were more mature, much larger and long, several feet or more in length. Perhaps this is what they look like when they’re young and just getting a foot-hold (pun intended) in the marsh. I’ll bet that’s it. Here’s a picture of the underside of the root. It’s about the size of a child’s foot.

There have been quite a few of the Yellow Pond Lily rhizomes getting washing up on the shore, more evidence of the impact the low water conditions are having on the sensitive wetland habitat around Clary Lake. The low water conditions exposes the roots to the elements and ice and rain erodes the soil holding them in place. Then they wash into the stream and float away. I’ve posted pictures here before of these rhizomes. Here’s a picture of some that floated down stream to collect at the dam. I’m half inclined to see if these can be collected and replanted. Seriously.