The City of Chestermere announced in a Regular Meeting of Council on February 13 that they had harvested 210,675 kilograms of weeds from Chestermere Lake in 2023. 

This past year, harvesters were able to get in the water early and started cutting down the weeds at the bottom of Chestermere Lake on June 19. 

“I know how important the water is to residents who live adjacent to it and all residents of Chestermere. Weed harvesting and weed control are an uppermost issue in most people's minds,” interim CAO Pat Vincent said. 

Chestermere Community Operations removed 132.5 harvester loads of weeds in 2023. 

Compared to 2022, when they removed 254.5 loads. 

“We have been dealing with a flowering rush infestation, and it seems were enjoying some success in 2023 with the amount of flowering rush being removed from the lake is significantly lower than 2022, which to me is a good sign that we have been dealing with this issue effectively,” Vincent said.  

Each harvester can hold 1590 kg of vegetation when it is cut and stacked properly. 

The vegetation is then composted and used throughout the community. 

Usually, they cannot start harvesting until mid-July, but they had an early start to the season. 

Due to persistent drought conditions in late summer, operations were halted in mid-August because the Western Irrigation District (WID) had to lower the water levels in the lake. 

By August 11, 2023, water levels started to lower, and the city was unable to get equipment back in the water again. 

In the map below, it shows that the city was able to remove 17.25, 33.25, 27.25, and 54.5 loads from areas A, B, C, and D. 

Map of Chestermere Lake weed controlMap of Chestermere Lake weed control. 

The city’s harvesting equipment fleet consists of eight pieces of equipment: 

  • WC003- Large Harvester (2000) 
  • WC004- Large Harvester (2000) 
  • WC008- Large Harvester (2006) 
  • WC018- Small Harvester (2019) 
  • WC012- Barge (2011)  
  • WC007-Weed hauling trailer (2006) 
  • PK236-F550, which is used to pull WC007 
  • PK099 – ¾ tom truck equipped with a slip tank 

The city staffed five harvester operators and one barge/trailer operator in 2023. 

The labour costs for the harvesting program totaled $21,332.50. 

Vincent commended the staff during the council meeting. 

“I congratulate the staff and thank them very much for their dedication,” he said. 

At the start of the season, operations focused on high-use areas like The Dockside Landing, Anniversary Park, The Yacht Club, Sunset Beach, Camp Chestermere, and the city-owned boat launch area at John Peake Park. 

Once those areas are controlled, the harvester moves on to other problem areas in the lake. For example, the west side and deep south end of the lake are where weeds are more vigorous. 

Harvesters rarely cut in the middle of the lake unless there is an obvious issue. 

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