You can help choose the name of the new Okanagan milfoil harvester | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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You can help choose the name of the new Okanagan milfoil harvester

FILE PHOTO - One of the Okanagan Basin Water Board's old milfoil harvesters is seen on Okanagan Lake near Vernon.

A new machine for combating an invasive aquatic plant is coming to the Okanagan and there's a contest to name it.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is hosting a launch party next week for the new amphibious milfoil harvester in Vernon, according to a press release from the water board.

Milfoil is an invasive plant that can dominate a lake’s ecosystem and push out native plants, according to the board’s website.

“This is the newest tool in our toolbox to help control invasive Eurasian watermilfoil in Okanagan lakes,” the board’s deputy administrator James Littley said in the release.

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The new harvester is replacing a machine from 1978. The harvester can be launched without a trailer and can cut the top five feet of milfoil, and bring up to two and a half tons of milfoil at a time.

The water board collects the harvested milfoil and gives it away for use as compost fertilizer for orchards and gardens.

“Now we’re looking for some help coming up with a name for our new machine,” Littley said.

The old harvesters are called long-nose Harvey and short-nose Harvey based on the length of their unloading conveyors. The rototillers are called Blue Roto, Red Roto and Orange Roto, based on their paint colours, and MRV for milfoil rototilling vessel, which is also red, but Red Roto was already taken.

READ MORE: Invasive species management group says watch out for poisonous plant in Columbia Shuswap

Littley is hoping a member of the public has something creative in mind for the new vessel which they currently call Ugly.

"Obviously, we need some help from the public to come up with something more catchy,” he said.

Everyone is invited to the launch party at Paddlewheel Park in Vernon at 1 p.m. on June 20. More details about the naming contest will be revealed at that time.

Click here for more information on the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

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