Herbicide treatment set for Birnie Slough


September 15, 2022

By Diana Zimmerman

As early as Monday, the length of Birnie Slough could be treated for the usual suspects clogging the waterways, including native species like water stargrass and invasive species such as milfoil and parrot feather.

The state has permitted treatment in the slough between September 19 and October 31, and Andy Lea, coordinator for the Wahkiakum Noxious Weed Control board, is hoping that the planned project will begin soon, but he was still waiting on word from the contractor, Aquatechnex, on Monday.

The chemicals for treatment, diquat dibromide and Endothall, have been ordered, but it is uncertain whether the contractor will be able to obtain the full allotment because of supply chain issues. How much of Birnie Slough gets treated depends on how much they receive.

"They won’t know until it shows up,” Lea said.

Notices have been mailed to people living in the treatment zone, whether on the water or within a quarter mile of the slough.

“We did our due diligence to try to reach out to all of them,” Lea said.

There could be some water restrictions, he warned, but he wasn’t yet certain what they might be.

“That’s what the contractor is working on,” Lea said. He suspected there could be a one day swimming advisory after treatment, or no fishing, or irrigation for gardens or yards.

“When they say go, I’m going to get busy posting signs at residences and docks to let them know what the water restrictions are,” he said.

Lea said last year's treatment of Welcome Slough and the Elochoman Slough Marina were largely successful, but there has been some regrowth.

“The plants are going to try to survive,” Lea said. “No matter what. Next year we might go back and re-treat there, but there are only so many dollars to go around.”

As for Birnie Slough, Lea just wants to get it done.


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