Japanese knotweed and its kin are perennial plants native to Asia. These plants were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as ornamentals and have since spread to many areas throughout the Pacific Northwest. Common names include Mexican or Japanese bamboo, elephant ear and fleeceflower.
“By any name, they are invasive, noxious weeds, and a serious threat to the health of our rivers and ecosystems,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.
Knotweed sprouts from bits of stems or roots and can completely clog small waterways and displace native streamside vegetation. This increases bank erosion and lowers the quality of streamside habitat for fish and wildlife and can potentially increase flooding of private property.
The Snohomish County Noxious Weed Control Board will focus efforts along the main course of the Pilchuck River, including the Pilchuck from its headwaters out of Spada Lake, south past the cities of Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Snohomish, to its connection with the Snohomish River.
From now until September, the Noxious Weed Control Board is looking for river access to survey and control the river knotweed along the Pilchuck. After surveying is completed, the goal is to control the spread of knotweed in the Pilchuck River Basin at no cost to landowners dependent upon funding.
“If you live or own property on the Pilchuck River or any of its tributaries, if you have seen this plant, or if you would like to schedule a field visit, contact us,” said Sonny Gohrman, the county’s noxious weed coordinator.
For more information or to schedule a field visit, contact Janice Martin, the county’s noxious weed inspector/technician at Janice.email@example.com or Sonny Gohrman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call the Snohomish County Noxious Weed Control Board at 425-388-7534.