DBW Begins Controlling Water Hyacinth with Mechanical Harvesting

December 6, 2013

Contact: Gloria Sandoval

DBW Begins Controlling Water Hyacinth with Mechanical Harvesting

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Yesterday, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) began mechanical harvesting of water hyacinth in parts of the Delta. Harvesting will continue until the beginning of next year’s herbicide treatment season (early March).

The focus of the mechanical harvesting will be at various locations including Stockton’s Marina and Waterfront, Village West Marina, Fourteen Mile Slough, Rivers End Marina, Old River, Whiskey Slough, Weatherbee Lake, as well as various adjacent areas where water hyacinth has travelled and is impairing navigation.

DBW recognizes the challenges it has with water hyacinth, and its impact to the public. In an effort to continue providing an essential public service, new treatment methods and chemicals are continually being considered. Mechanical harvesting is an alternative tactic for DBW that is in compliance with federal permits to deal with this invasive aquatic plant. Site selection for this new removal method for this year was made after the completion the herbicidal treatment season (November 30) by DBW crews who physically surveyed sites for areas most impacted by the invasive plant, and of which navigation was impaired or completely blocked.

The division operates a control program, not an eradication program. Eradication of water hyacinth from the Delta is impossible. Seed production from water hyacinth has established a high seed bank in the sediment. Seeds will continue to germinate even if all surface plants have been removed from the water. Seeds cannot be removed easily and have been reported to survive up to 15-20 years in dried mud.

For more information on DBW’s Water Hyacinth Control Program, visit www.dbw.parks.ca.gov.

Our Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.