County aims to snuff out knotweed in waterways

EVERETT — A program getting under way this summer aims to eradicate invasive Japanese knotweed from the banks of the Pilchuck River.

Snohomish County’s Noxious Weed Control Board plans to perform the work with the help from state and federal grants. The goal is to start near the river’s headwaters near Spada Lake, then move south past Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Snohomish, until reaching the Snohomish River.

“If you live or own property on the Pilchuck River or any of its tributaries, if you have seen this plant, or if you would like to schedule a field visit, contact us,” said Sonny Gohrman, the county’s noxious weed coordinator.

From now until September, the noxious weed board will be seeking river access to survey and control the invasive plant, at no cost to landowners.

The county’s noxious weed board received a $20,000 state Department of Agriculture grant for surveying, Gohrman said. Another state grant for the same amount is expected next month. An additional $10,000 in county Surface Water Management dollars is dedicated for knotweed removal in the Stillaguamish River, Little Bear Creek and Pilchuck River basins as needed.

The state Department of Ecology also is providing a Conservation Corps crew for some of the surveying and removal work.

Knotweed sprouts from stems and roots. It can clog small waterways and displace native vegetation. That can lead to bank erosion, flooding, and destruction of fish and wildlife habitat.

Japanese knotweed and related plants are native to Asia. They were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as ornamentals. Common names include Mexican or Japanese bamboo, elephant ear and fleeceflower.

For more information, or to schedule a visit, call 425-388-7534; or write to Janice Martin, the county’s noxious weed inspector, at janice.martin@snoco.org; or to Gohrman at sonny.gohrman@snoco.org.

More in Local News

High-speed, tire-shredding Marysville chase ends in capture

The 28-year-old driver is now being held for investigation of more than 25 criminal counts.

Election results for Snohomish County school districts

Updated 2/16: Here are the returns for Tuesday’s special election ballot measures.

School levies still passing in 3 districts after latest tally

In the initial count, ballot measures in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish had been losing.

7-hour police standoff near Lynnwood ends with surrender

Deputies seized a rifle, pellet gun and knife at the scene.

Front Porch

EVENTS Learn about the microgrid Snohomish County PUD plans an open house… Continue reading

Ban on bump-fire stocks makes progress in State House

The Senate approved the bill but would need to vote on any changes made by the House.

We might see snow in the lowlands this weekend

Snow in the mountain passes will definitely be deep, forecasters say.

Joshua Alexander O’Connor, 18, appears in court on Wednesday. He is accused of plotting to bomb and shoot classmates at ACES High School in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
In journal, Everett suspect had picked a date for school attack

The Everett teen reportedly planned attack as tribute to other mass killers. His bail is $5 million.

Everett coaches reaching out to teens about dating violence

Free training focuses on a known strength of coaches: Being positive role models.

Most Read