Monthly Archives: August 2019


Imagine you’ve been out working all day in your yard. Here in the beautiful Columbia-Shuswap region, it is not difficult for many to picture. You have done all your research to find information about invasive weeds online, and you feel confident in identifying what doesn’t belong. Once you have located those weeds, you carefully remove them. What happens to the weeds next? Many people will continue with proper disposal at the landfill, but what if there was another sustainable way to make use of those weeds?

Several weed species, some of which are classified as invasive due to their detrimental impacts on people, the environment, or the economy, are actually edible and often quite delicious.  Dishes range from delicious Himalayan blackberry tarts, to salads of chickweed, lambs quarter, and purslane (which is very high in omega-3). Some species, such as burdock, have been used historically to make tea, medicines, and even chips!   

Burdock Chip Recipe

Chips made from the root of Burdock plants are surprisingly easy to make if you understand how to harvest and prepare them. Burdock is a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its lifecycle. During the first year the plant will grow only leaves and roots. It will then go dormant for the winter and finally produce flowers during the second year. Burdock roots are best dug out in the fall of their first year, before they have flowered and look similar to rhubarb. 

Once harvested, the Burdock root should be peeled and cut into thin slices. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and add your preferred amount of sea salt. While preparing the chips, preheat the oven to 450F. It should take 20 minutes, flipping halfway, until your delicious Burdock snack is perfectly crispy and ready for eating!

A word of caution: while these snacks are simple and free, there could be a great cost to the environment if they are not handled safely. Invasive weeds have the ability to rapidly spread by a variety of methods. For this reason, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society asks that you never compost the clippings or excess plant material, and be careful to avoid spreading any seeds. Proper disposal of invasive plants can be done free of charge at any CSRD landfill.

Interested in more easy, free invasive weed recipes? The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) and the North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES) are hosting an Edible Invasive Plant Workshop on September 16th, 5:00pm – 6:00pm at the Revelstoke Workers Memorial.  Come along to get specifics on how to ID plants and how to choose a safe harvest location. There will also be a selection of free recipes and the opportunity to partake in some edible invasive treats!  

For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook @ColumbiaShuswapInvasives.

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. CSISS is thankful for the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Province of BC.




Summer Newsletter




In this edition…

  • Field Program Update
  • Summer Field Work Video
  • Aquatic Outreach Update
  • Invasive Mussel Sampling Update
  • IAPP Workshop Success
  • Outreach Activities





Field Program Update



Laura Gaster (above with poison hemlock) and our CSISS summer interns have been busy surveying invasive plants for the field program.  Surveyed plants are prioritized to maximize treatment dollar effectiveness.  Priority Species treated so far include poison hemlock, wild parsnip, Himalayan balsam, blueweed, yellow flag iris, teasel, scotch thistle, rush skeletonweed, and Himalayan blackberry.  Other, lower priority species have also been treated at high priority sites such as parks.
The field program has also been monitoring the effectiveness and spread of Bioagents (insects used to reduce the vigour of invasive plants)



Summer field work with CSISS: Columbia Shuswap water bodies and wildlife.


Turtles, ducks and invasive plants, oh my!



Aquatic Outreach Update




All marinas in the Columbia Shuswap region were visited this spring and given updated information on invasive species in the water bodies they depend on for their business operations.

Our summer interns have been spending time at boat launches across the region and advising people about how to Clean Drain and Dry their watercraft to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.

In addition we have been at several water sport events including the Paddlesport Classic in Revelstoke, dragon boating festivals and Fishing derbies across the region.

CSISS has partnered with multiple organizations across the region to install Clean Drain Dry signage at 32 more boat launches across the region.  Signs encourage both motorized and non-motorized watercraft owners to Clean Drain and Dry their boats between water bodies.



Invasive Mussel Sampling 



CSISS continues to sample for the presence of invasive mussels throughout the region, sending samples for analysis at the provincial laboratory in Vancouver.  60 samples have been taken so far, from 25 sampling sites on 9 water bodies.  All results have tested negative for mussels so far.  CSISS will continue to test these sites throughout the summer and into the fall.

No ducks were caught during sampling, though they occasionally tried to investigate our sampling nets!

CSISS has also deployed special substrate samplers around the region.  These samplers (created by CSISS summer interns Hannah and Janelle) are a collection of different substrates, lowered into in the water and left tied to a dock or other structure.  If invasive mussels are present in the lake, their young will settle onto the samplers and CSISS staff will detect them.

Some of these samplers are being monitored by local dock owners.  Many thanks to these folks for their help in looking after these samplers!



Outreach Activities Update





CSISS outreach staff have been busy hosting weed pulls, attending markets and special events, presenting to youth and community groups, hosting workshops and collaborating with many other organizations!




IAPP Workshop Success! 





Thanks to the participants of our summer workshop and to the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program for support!




On July 25th, in Revelstoke BC, a one-day workshop was held with support of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program for participants who were interested in learning techniques for recording and reporting invasive plants using the Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP). The goal of the workshop was to increase monitoring and treatment of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species by land managers.
The three-hour in class session gave participants an overview of the functions of IAPP and included techniques for recording inventories and mechanical, biological and chemical monitoring. A two-hour outdoor session allowed participants to practice hands on skills for invasive plant identification, recording inventories and completing monitoring. Overall the workshop gave land managers the tools to correctly identify, report, and conduct invasive plant inventories.





Upcoming Events – August 2019
See Website and Facebook for event detailsAugust 11th- Scotch Creek Farmer’s Market
August 14th- Salmon Arm Nature Bay Enhancement Society Talk
August 16th,17th, 18th-Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
September 6,7,8– Salmon Arm Fall Fair

Stay Tuned for more fall events! 




CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners.