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Aquatic Weed Abatement-Discovery Bay and Bethel Island

April 13, 2011

Check out our new page-Discovery Bay, regarding current events.  So, getting to it, there was a meeting sponsored by Mary Piepho, District III Supervisor, regarding the continuing problem with egeria densa and water hyacinth.  The latter has been treated since 1987 with some success.  The new problem in the last few years is with the “aquarium weed” egeria densa.  This weed is out of control in most or our bays, blocking access, fouling props and pumps, and adding to the density of plant life in the delta.  This plant/weed grows in shallow water and needs the sun.  The Sonar herbicide is now being sprayed in the water to inhibit plant growth from the roots.  After the initial spraying look for the tops of the plant to turn yellow within a couple of weeks. 

Note to aquarium owners:  do not dump water or live plants into the Delta from your aquariums.  This weed is an aquarium plant.  Do not add to the problem.

The good news is that the spraying starts in Discovery Bay and Bethel Island this week and will continue weekly.  The pellets disolve into the root system.  The product does not harm fish and allows normal water activity, swimming, boating, drinking, etc. The test program is for twelve weeks.  The bad news is that, of course, all of the water ways cannot be treated.   Piper and Taylor sloughs are being treated in Bethel Island as well as the majority of the west side of Discovery Bay from Cypress Bay up to and including Lido Bay.  The east side of Discovery Bay is not being treated at this time. Please review the information on the Discovery Bay Page. The budget for this sort of thing is $600,000 and funds are running out.  So take a moment to lobby your congressman for funding.  It has taken and will continue to take some time to get permits for treatment.  The Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) will be checking results at least weekly and maybe more. They can be contacted for further information at 888-326-2822.  You can also check out website at http://dbw.ca.gov/aquatic.asp for more information.

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