Tackling weeds in the Truckee River
The Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) is pioneering a project on the Truckee River to control the aquatic invasive plant, Eurasian watermifoil, which has been growing prolifically since the late 1990s. Made possible by strong partnerships, this project follows other successful removal projects that have targeted aquatic invasive plants in Lake Tahoe, particularly in Emerald Bay. Eurasian watermilfoil is a non-native, aquatic plant that can spread easily between water bodies by a simple transport mechanism where plant fragments adhere to boats, trailers and other recreational and angling equipment. Eurasian watermilfoil likely entered the Truckee River following the overflow of the dam in 1997 and has been more prolific during the last five- to seven- years.
“We are thrilled to see this project get on the ground“, said Kim Boyd, Tahoe RCD District Manager, “We believe this project will be beneficial to local businesses and to those who enjoy the recreational opportunities on and around the Truckee River by enhancing the aesthetic value.”
In the past four years, the Tahoe RCD and partners, specifically California Department of Parks and Recreation and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency have developed highly effective control strategies for open water aquatic plant removal. Control strategies include laying down bottom barriers to kill the plants by eliminating light and using diver assisted hand removal to physically remove plants and roots. Often times, control includes the strategic deployment of both methods. For this project however, only diver assisted hand removal will be used. Permitting constraints and river flows are contributing factors to this decision. The project will be continually analyzed to ensure best possible strategy is used. In general, the Tahoe RCD and partnering agencies are optimistic that effective removal of aquatic invasive plant infestations in the Truckee River is obtainable.
“The Truckee River is an integral part of the Tahoe watershed” Dan Shaw, Environmental Scientist with California Department of Parks and Recreation reflects on the project “with a comprehensive multi-year removal project there is hope to restore its historic beauty.”
Funding for this project has been provided by the Community Foundation of Western Nevada/Truckee River Fund, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the Tahoe Fund.