New Yorkers pull tons of water chestnuts

Photo courtesy of Barb Elliott
The water chestnut pulls took several hours each and eradicated more than three tons of the invasive plant.

Salt City Bassmasters conducted its 5th Annual Water Chestnut Pull on the Oneida River as well as on Big Bay and Muskrat Bay on Oneida Lake.

Between Aug. 1 and 16, 2011, the club took part in 10 separate pulls, each lasting four to five hours. Volunteers from Salt City Bassmasters and Good Ole Boys Bass Club spent the afternoons and evenings hand-pulling the invasive water chestnut plants from the river in hopes of preventing the further spread of the plant toward Oneida Lake.

Gander Mountain provided bags for the storage and transport of the weeds. Volunteers collected more than 6,000 pounds of plants and took them to a club member’s farmland for composting.

"This was the fifth year of the coordinated effort," said Barb Elliott, conservation director for the New York B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, "so areas that were strongly targeted in the past were thankfully relatively clear of the weeds. Unfortunately, there are new areas with dense infestations. These areas will be difficult to get under control by hand-pulling only. Only a coordinated and sustained campaign of mechanical and labor-intensive hand-pulling can eradicate the weed from local waterways."

 

This article is part of the Invasive Species segment of the larger report, 2011 Annual Achievements in B.A.S.S. Conservation.

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