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State Begins Early Attack On Delta Weed

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 18, 2013

The plant is called water hyacinth. It's a weed that grows on top of the water blocking sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants and starving the water of oxygen, and that can kill fish.

Gloria Sandoval with the state Department of Boating and Waterways says the weed - with its green, glossy leaves and lavender flowers - also clogs marinas.

"It's actually a very beautiful plant. But the effects that the presence of this plant could have on the delta's ecosystem and we also are looking at it from a public safety issue - navigation."

Starting today through the end of November, department crews will apply herbicides to the weed. In past years, the treatment season for hyacinth didn't begin until July.
Sandoval points out - this year, they're starting a lot earlier.
"Hopefully by doing that we will attack its growth cycle and it will not be as prolific as last year."
To protect salmon and smelt, herbicide treatment in some areas of the delta will begin later in the year after peak spawning and migration times.
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