Enhancement of Willamette Slough: Phase 2
Status: Anticipated start June 2020
Recreationists who enjoy paddling and fishing in the Willamette Slough are finding it more difficult to do so due the fast-spreading aquatic weed, Ludwigia hexapetala, also known as creeping or Uruguay water primrose.
Problems caused by creeping water primrose
Ludwigia forms dense mats that choke entire waterways and that lead to significant impacts:
- Reduce recreation opportunities
- Reduce vital habitat of turtles, frogs, water birds, fish and other wildlife.
- Impede water movement (affecting both water quality and flooding potential)
- Block growth of native plants
- Reduce dissolved oxygen leading to fish kills.
- Spread easily by catching a ride on boats, kayaks, and other watercraft and can quickly spread to new places
Because the Willamette Slough is a side channel of the Willamette River, it is critical habitat for migrating and resident Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook salmon and steelhead as well as other diverse species of fish and wildlife; therefore, the importance of keeping this slough open is vital.
Teaming up against creeping water primrose (Ludwigia hexapetalal)
Members of the Willamette Aquatic Invasive Network (WAIN) have been treating and removing invasive Ludwigia from numerous locations along the Willamette River. With funding from the Bonneville Power Administration and Meyer Memorial Trust, Willamette Riverkeeper and the City of Salem are working together to use effective treatment methods that provide the greatest benefits and the least harm to the native ecosystems. Ludwigia will be treated with an aquatic-approved herbicide by state-licensed applicators. Ludwigia control efforts in the Willamette Slough complements the City of Salem's other restoration efforts occurring at Minto Brown Island Park and Willamette Riverkeeper's and WAIN's efforts within the Willamette River Watershed.