Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group
Watercress Control in Brook Trout Spawning Habitat
Watercress is a rapidly growing aquatic, green leafy edible non-native plant which grows in spring water and outflows (i.e. brook trout spawning habitat). It does provide excellent cover for brook trout and in particular, young of the year where growth is not excessive. Though not considered invasive, it can form thick mats which trap sediment, burying the gravel brook trout need to form their spawning beds or redds.
In the summer of 2018, the Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group continued a program of controlling excess growth of watercress in the headwaters of Ellen’s Creek just below the Malpeque Road in Winsloe, PEI. By removing these mats of watercress in early summer, the sediment in the stream flushes out and when brook trout return in the fall to spawn, they have ideal habitat to reproduce. This is just one of the many activities our group is engaged in that ensures a sustainable, healthy brook trout population in the Ellen’s Creek Watershed with funding from the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund and other partners.