NEWS

Stan Orchard, Vancouver Island Bullfrog Hunter, Stymied By Bad Weather

07/06/2012 01:16 EDT | Updated 09/05/2012 05:12 EDT
CP
VICTORIA - British Columbia's rainy spring has been a boon to bullfrogs.

Victoria-based amphibian hunter Stan Orchard says his efforts to stop the spread of the invasive and voracious bullfrog through southern Vancouver Island lakes and ponds has been stymied by bad weather.

Orchard says bullfrog management strategies rely on electronic equipment, used at night from inflatable rafts — but rain makes it hard to see the noisy creatures and wind blows the rafts off course.

He says the windy, rainy spring has kept his patrols off bullfrog-infested Victoria-area waters, hampering the battle against a creature listed as one of the 100 worst alien invasive species in the world.

Bullfrogs are not native west of the Rocky Mountains but, mainly because of release by irresponsible pet owners, they have infested some Island waterways, eating almost anything and pushing out native species of bugs, other amphibians, birds and fish.

However, B.C.'s bad weather has led to glowing reviews for Orchard's methods in North Carolina, where he was able to take advantage of downtime in B.C. to accept a contract to rid bullfrogs out of a cooling-water pond at a nuclear reactor in that state. (CFAX)