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

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

In Sultan, there was a seat at the table for everyone

Every year, the town’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving.

Most Read