Transcript: Combatting Carp with Christmas Trees | Jan 30, 2018

Jeyan Jeganathan stands in The Agenda studio. He's in his thirties, with short curly brown hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

A wall screen behind him reads "Ontario Hubs. Restoring the wetlands."

Jeyan says WETLANDS
IN ONTARIO ARE AT RISK.
WITHOUT ANY ACTION, THEY WOULD
EVENTUALLY DISAPPEAR.
BUT IF YOU LIVE IN BURLINGTON OR
HAMILTON, YOU MAY BE HELPING
RESTORE SOME OF THOSE WATERWAYS
WITH YOUR CHRISTMAS TREES.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs."
Then, clips show a woman dragging pine trees across the snow.

Jeyan narrates JENNIFER BOWMAN AND HER CREW ARE
HELPING RESTORE HAMILTON'S
MARSHES WITH THE HELP OF
CHRISTMAS TREES.
MOST OF THESE TREES WERE IN
HOMES IN HAMILTON AND BURLINGTON
AND WERE DONATED TO COMBAT AN
INVASIVE SPECIES, THE COMMON CARP.

Other people drag and load Christmas trees onto trucks. Carps swim in a tank.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Jennifer Bowman."

Jennifer is in her thirties, with dark brown hair.

She says THEY ARE VERY PROLIFIC.
THEY'RE NOT NATIVE TO THIS AREA.
THEY DON'T HAVE PREDATORS ONCE
THEY GET TO A CERTAIN AGE.
AND THEY ARE ECOSYSTEM
DESTROYERS, LIKE MARSH
DESTROYERS.
IF THEY'RE FEEDING, THEY ARE
EATING THE VEGETATION AND MAKING
THE WATER REALLY SILTY BY
FEEDING AND SPAWNING ACTIVITIES.
THEY'RE LIKE A ROTOTILLER GOING
THROUGH THE MARSH CONSTANTLY
STIRRING UP.

A map pops up showing the location of Hamilton, Burlington, and the Hamilton Harbour.
The view homes in on a waterway connecting to the harbour, with the caption "Berm."

Jennifer says WE'RE TRYING TO RECREATE THE CREEK CHANNEL.
THIS IS THE LOWER END OF
GREENSTONE CREEK, THE ESTUARY,
IF YOU WILL.
JUST BEFORE HAMILTON HARBOUR.
AND IT'S BEEN ELIMINATED FROM
COMMON CARP THAT WERE INTRODUCED
INTO THE AREA A LONG TIME AGO.

Jennifer's crew lays out a wall of used Christmas trees on a flatland.
An animation shows carps approaching a berm made of trees and swimming away from it.

Jeyan says THE BERM
ACTS AS A WALL PREVENTING COMMON
CARP FROM ENTERING THE SENSITIVE
LANDS DURING SPAWNING.
WATER FLOATS TO THE TOP AND
SEDIMENT AND DIRT IS TRAPPED,
REINFORCING IT.

Jennifer says EVERYTHING SINKS AND GETS
COMPRESSED AFTER THE BRANCHES
LOSE THEIR NEEDLES AND START DECOMPOSING.

Jeyan says EVERY
YEAR THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
GOES THROUGH OVER 2,000
CHRISTMAS TREES.
THANKS TO RECORD HIGH WATER
LEVELS LAST YEAR ACROSS THE
PROVINCE, THEY NEED ROUGHLY 3200 TREES.

Jennifer says WE DO THE WORK ON THE BERMS AND THE ICE SO WE CAN DRAG THE
TREES OVER THE ICE.
IT'S MUCH EASIER.
WE CAN USE OUR GATORS OVER THE
ICE AND HELP GET THEM OUT THERE.
WE DIDN'T HAVE VERY GOOD ICE AND
WE DIDN'T HAVE TOO MANY TREES TO
WORK WITH.
OVER THE SUMMER WE HAD EXTREMELY
HIGH WATER LEVELS THAT JUST
ABOUT ALL OF OUR BERMS WERE WAY
UNDERWATER.

Jeyan says TO ALLOW
THE MARSHES TO RECOIL, THE
GARDENS HAVE SET UP THESE
STRUCTURES ALONG THE BERM.

A close up shows gates made of straws pointing outwards.

Jeyan continues THEY ALLOW SMALLER FISH TO MOVE
FREELY BETWEEN THE WATERWAYS AND
ANY FISH THAT ARE ALREADY IN THE
MARSH ARE FORCED TO SWIM OUT
THROUGH THESE ANGLED BRUSHES.
THEY PREVENT LARGER FISH FROM
RETURNING TO THE MARSH,
INCLUDING SPAWNING CARP.
THE COMMON CARP IS NOT REFERRED
TO AS ASIAN CARP.
THEY ARE FAST GROWING, REACHING
MATURITY AT TWO YEARS AND CAN
LIVE UP TO 20 YEARS IN THE WILD.

Jennifer says COMMON CARP ARE KIND OF THE
FORGOTTEN ASIAN CARP.
THEY WERE THE ORIGINALS THAT
WERE INTRODUCED FROM ASIA TO THE
GREAT LAKES AS EARLY AS THE
1800s.
PEOPLE CONSIDER THEM NATURALIZED
BECAUSE THEY'RE BASICALLY
EVERYWHERE NOW IN THE GREAT
LAKES.
THERE'S SO MANY PLACES THAT
THEY'VE BEEN INTRODUCED AND
IMPACTED.
BUT THEY HAVE A REAL EFFECT ON
THE ECOSYSTEM AND THEY'RE MARSH
DESTROYERS, REALLY.

Jeyan says IN THE
MID CAN 0s, THERE WERE 70,000
COMMON CARP IN THESE WATERWAYS
BUT THANKS TO EXTENSIVE
CONSERVATION WORK, THERE ARE
FEWER THAN A THOUSAND.
NATIVE VEGETATION IN THE
MARSHLAND IS SLOWLY COMING BACK
ONE CHRISTMAS TREE AT A TIME.

A man in his thirties throws a Christmas tree onto a berm.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Combatting Carp with Christmas Trees