Exotic Plant River Threat 8-17-12 Kill: 11:00 am Saturday Smelser Local News
The US Fish and Wildlife Service says spraying will be conducted next week on a large infestation of an exotic plant found in the Mississippi River backwaters near Buffalo City last month.
Mary Stefanski, Winona District Manager of the Upper Mississippi River Wilfdlife and Fish Refuge, says some 10,000 plants of water hyacinth and water lettuce will be sprayed by a private contractor. In addition, a new plant called Parrot Feather, was also discovered and will be sprayed.
Stefanski said the other two plants were hand picked from the area last year and destroyed. They were not expected to survive the winter. The plants are believed to have been deposited in the area by a citizen. They are used in backyard ponds and aquariums.
While it is not the first finding of the Parrot Feather in the state it's the first finding that could spread extensively. Stefanski said the latest finding is a stark reminder for everyone who uses the river to be diligent in their efforts to not transport invasive or exotic species.