Local News

Okanogan Weed Board's treatment of milfoil in Lake Osoyoos addresses concerns from British Columbia

Sep 12, 2011

The Washington Department of Ecology has approved Okanogan Noxious Weed Control Board's plan to treat milfoil in approximately 10 acres of isolated coves of Washington reaches of Lake Osoyoos.

Ecology's approval comes after reviewing the comments and concerns raised by the B.C. Ministry of the Environment and others. Ecology is confident that the lake treatments in compliance with the permit will protect water quality.

The Weed Board greatly reduced the size of the lake treatment from its previously proposed 300 acres 10 acres. It is legal to treat milfoil in Washington waters under Washington's permit, which is one of the most protective in the nation. For example, the permit requires timing treatments to avoid times when sensitive salmon species are present. The permit is based on a large body of credible scientific research.

The Department of Ecology believes the Weed Board has put forth a plan that addresses concerns raised by British Columbia. Based on implementation of the Board's plan, we do not believe that treated water will get into B.C. reaches of the lake. Due to the lakes inlet and outlet, lake water flows to the south, further increasing protection of B.C. reaches of the lake from receiving lake treatment chemicals.

Milfoil is a non-native, invasive plant that forms dense mats of vegetation on the surface of lakes. These mats interfere with recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, water skiing, and boating.

Ecology anticipates the Weed Board to move ahead with lake treatment this season.

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