The first two volunteer workdays of the 2019-2020 academic year were, as usual, devoted to cutting back cattails in pHake Lake. The cattails weren’t planted when the lake was first constructed. They got there on their own. And, boy, do they love it! They grow very tall and thick, extending their territory with rhizomes that spread out into the lake. So even though the cattails are native, we devote time each year to cutting them back – otherwise, they would completely block off access to the lake for students and researchers.
Cattail cutting is big undertaking. First we get organized with saw, waders, and boats.
Then we head off …
… for close encounters with cattails.
Next comes the actual cutting.
Sometimes we find interesting things in the cattails. There were a lot of spiders, but also these:
Once the cattails are cut, we can’t just leave them in the lake, where they would create a rotting mess that would remove oxygen from the lake water. So we collect them all …
… and take them to a vehicle-accessible location, where they will be collected and taken away for mulch or compost.
And a special thanks to the Bonita High Environmental Club for helping out! Great job, folks!
And here’s a peek at the difference the work has made.
We’ll have a least one more day of cattail cutting, so if you missed out on the fun, you still have a chance! Check the volunteer schedule for dates.