|The Big Orange Weed Eater
photo by: Ken W. Watson
|Some say the era of the paddle wheeler is over - but not so on the Rideau. Boaters may spot this bright orange paddle wheeler on the water. It's doing a big favour for them - removing aquatic vegetation from the navigation channel.
This giant weed eater is owned and operated by Parks Canada. It scoops up aquatic vegetation using a movable front conveyor belt cutter/scoop. The vegetation is rolled and stored on a second conveyor at the back of the machine for disposal onto dry land.
Nutrients, warm water and recently, zebra mussels, all serve the promote the growth of aquatic vegetation. While okay in many areas (the vegetation helps maintain a healthy fish population) - too much in the navigation channel is not a good thing. This mechanical machine removed the vegetation in this area in an environmentally sensitive manner.
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