Editor, Ceres Courier,
Invasive water hyacinth infestation has consumed and completely clogged the Tuolumne River.
The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is responsible to work with the Department of Agriculture to obtain approvals from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service required by the Endangered Species Act and approval by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. All permits required for the Water Hyacinth Control Program (WHCP) have been obtained through 2017. The DBW is permitted to begin treatment from early spring to mid-fall.
Financing comes from the Harbored Watercraft Revolving Fund, revenues from boaters' registration fees and gas taxes. A March 27, 2015 news release announced an additional $4 million boost in funding was added to the DBW's $9 million annual program. Spraying in the Fox Grove Fishing Access area, where Geer Road crosses the Tuolumne River, was part of an increased effort against the aquatic weed.
However, after spending over $61 for my 2016 fishing license, $27 boat registration fee and gasoline that increased 23 cents in three days, I found the Fox Grove boat ramp blocked by 30 feet of hyacinth that also blocked all upstream and downstream boating.
This is what I found out: The DBW's treatments are based on infestation levels and public calls. Continuous monitoring is conducted to ensure navigability of waterways.
The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways for Reporting Water Hyacinth states, "Please call (888) 326-2822 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in message, the address or nearest landmark of the sighting. If possible, take photographs of the plant."
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