Department of Ag works with Twin Falls County to remove noxious weeds from waterways

Published: Jan. 26, 2018 at 5:17 PM MST
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The Idaho State Department of Agriculture came to Twin Falls Friday to work on a noxious weed eradication program. A KMVT reporter experienced hands-on what it takes to remove hydrilla from a golf course stream.

Hydrilla is a noxious weed that can fill entire waterways and kill native plants in the systems.

"It can grow rapidly as you heard forming dense mats in the water," said Noxious Weed Section Manager Jeremey Varley with the Department of Agriculture.

Because of it's quick growth the department refers to hydrilla as the "Perfect invasive aquatic weed."

"It's one of those things that can become your worst enemy as it spreads and grows rapidly," Varley said.

The plant can grow up to an inch a day, and one plant can create up to 2,000 replicas.

"It can spread by fragments, it can spread by stem turion, which are on the top of the plant, or it does produce a tuber underneath the soil surface," Varley said.

This is why the department was glad Canyon Springs Golf Course contacted Twin Falls County weed control when they found it on their golf course. The county in turn contacted the state who has the resources to help remove the weed.

The Department of Agriculture uses two main processes to remove the weeds.

"Hand removal and suction with the dredge because we can get the whole plant, and remove it that way," Varley said.

They use a dredge in deeper water to suck up the plants through a hose into a basket. In shallow water, they dig in and pull the plants by hand. Everyone involved knows the importance of cooperation to get on top of a weed like this.

"The partnerships that we have formed both with our state, federal and our landowners are very important in helping our government agencies keep track and get rid of noxious weeds," said Twin Falls County Commissioner Jack Johnson.

"It's not just one person that's effected by the hydrilla," Varley said. "We want to try to get everyone on board so we can get this taken care of."

If you want to learn more about hydrilla and how to spot it you can check out an interactive story map on hydrilla