Pend Oreille County Commissioners Stephen Kiss, Karen Skoog, and Mike Manus recently signed a Department of Ecology grant supporting $49,999.50 worth of weed control efforts in the Pend Oreille River.
This grant will allow for continued DASH treatments (diver assisted suction harvest) for the invasive weed Flowering Rush, Butomus umbellatus, one of the community’s biggest ecological threats, Pend Oreille County officials said in a press release.
“People think milfoil is a problem but Flowering Rush will not only crowd out your favorite fishing hole and deplete our fish population, but it will also keep you from swimming anywhere near it because it hosts the parasite that causes swimmers itch,” says Lisa Alkire the Pend Oreille Weed Board education specialist.
Flowering Rush is a Washington State listed Class A noxious aquatic weed that has been invading the Pend Oreille River since 2010. In 2016, over 1,755 locations were identified in the river. After the vigilant efforts of the Weed Board thus far, current data identified 633 points with most sites controlled.
“This weed endangers what the Weed Board stands for” Lisa Alkire continues. “Our goal is to protect the Pend Oreille Ecosystem for everyone’s benefit and use. This weed has changed ecosystems entirely and damaged property values in the river system upstream from us. What the county commissioners signed provides resources we need to continue to protect it.”