NEWS WORTH NOTING: Hydrilla eradicated from Shasta County; Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts watershed study in Humboldt County

Hydrilla eradicated from Shasta County

From the Department of Food and Agriculture:

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), working in cooperation with the Shasta County Agricultural Commissioner’s office, has eradicated two hydrilla infestations within the cites of Redding and Anderson, ending a quarantine that began on July 18, 1996. Hydrilla, an invasive aquatic weed, was last detected in Shasta County in 2006.

CDFA and Shasta County used integrated pest management methods to eradicate these infestations, with the last treatment in 2011.The affected water systems had been surveyed bi-annually through 2017, with zero hydrilla finds. Additional steps were taken to prevent the plant from reaching the adjacent Sacramento River, where the it could have spread throughout Northern California and ultimately to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The Hydrilla Eradication Program has a proven track record in California, eradicating the plant from 15 counties since 1976. CDFA and the Shasta County Agricultural Commissioner acknowledge and thank local area residents for their cooperation in preventing the movement of hydrilla, and for allowing property access to perform critical eradication activities.

“We spend a lot of time and effort responding to invasive pests like fruit flies, and we are often able to eradicate those infestations in a matter of months,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “But it’s important to recognize that some invasive organisms, such as hydrilla, require remarkable dedication and persistence to eradicate. It’s also important to note that, while farmers and ranchers may benefit from this work because hydrilla can hinder our irrigations systems, it’s really the environment that is the main beneficiary of this achievement. Protecting our waterways means protecting water quality, preserving habitat for wild and native species, and even safeguarding recreational opportunities like boating and swimming.”

Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is a non-native, aggressive, submerged aquatic invasive species. Once the plant invades an aquatic ecosystem, it drives out all native and introduced aquatic plants, creating a pure stand of hydrilla. The plant breaks apart very easily and small pieces of stem, no more than one inch long, can produce entire new plants. The plant also produces special survival structures on stems, called turions, and in sediment, called tubers. Each tuber also produces a new plant. The tubers can survive for four to seven years in sediment before sprouting, even if no water is present for much of that time.

Hydrilla has the ability to reduce water flow in canals and ditches up to 85 percent and can clog dams, power plants and other water control structures. Hydrilla has the potential to infect 90 percent of California’s water bodies if not eradicated.

Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts watershed study in Humboldt County

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is investigating the potential environmental impacts of water diversions associated with cannabis cultivation in three streams in the upper Mattole River watershed in Humboldt County.

The study is comparing hydrological and biological parameters such as stream flow, water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, aquatic insect community composition, and fish movement in streams with and without cannabis cultivation.

This pilot research project could support efforts to establish sustainable levels of cannabis cultivation in sensitive watersheds on the North Coast and lead to the initiation of similar studies throughout the state.

The study findings are expected to be published on the CDFW website in the fall of 2019

“Research is an important tool in understanding the impacts of cannabis cultivation on the environment,” said Joshua Grover, CDFW Cannabis Program Director. “CDFW supports the legalized cannabis market and works with cultivators to limit environmental impacts. Using a science-based approach will help our staff make informed management decisions on sustainable levels of cannabis cultivation.”

More details on the pilot study can be found in the January/February issue of Outdoor California with an article titled, “Cultivating Cooperation.” To read the article, please visit: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Cannabis/News and click on the link. Additional details about the study can be found here: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Cannabis#53534624-environment.

Cannabis cultivators with questions can email CDFW at AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

CDFW encourages cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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