Water Hyacinth Response in La Crosse, WI

Oct 30, 2018 | Aquatic Invasive Species, DNR, Local Groups

This fall, water hyacinth—a prohibited invasive species under NR 40, Wisconsin’s Invasive Species Rule—was discovered in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River. Water hyacinth, native to South America, is a highly invasive aquatic plant that can form thick mats and degrade water quality. It also disturbs fish and wildlife habitat, and prevents recreational opportunities.

River Alliance, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, UW-La Crosse, Viterbo University, Brice Prairie Conservation Association and local volunteers, have removed tens of thousands of water hyacinth plants from Pool 8 since the initial discovery. River Alliance and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimate that at least 99% of the water hyacinth population that was established in Pool 8 has been removed,but just to be on the safe side, follow-up monitoring (and removal, if necessary) will continue this fall and during the 2019 field season.

You Can Help!

You can help prevent the spread of water hyacinth and other invasive species.

Before launching and leaving, Wisconsin law requires you to:

INSPECT boats, trailers, and equipment.
REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals.
DRAIN all water from boats, vehicles, and equipment.
NEVER RELEASE plants or animals into public waters.
NEVER MOVE plants or live fish away from a water body.

You can also sign up to volunteer with River Alliance of Wisconsin, and/or join a local group near you.

Main photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources