The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has temporarily restricted boat use at the Mendota Wildlife Area in Fresno County.
Due to an overgrowth of invasive water hyacinth, trailered boats will be temporarily prohibited from entering the Mendota Wildlife Area for use in Fresno Slough. The restriction is effective immediately and scheduled through February 13.
Water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic plant native to the Amazon, can be detrimental when introduced to non-native environments. In addition to impairing pumping operations, hyacinth forms dense mats in the water which can tangle boat props and impede navigation. This year, an overgrowth of water hyacinth has limited access to traditional waterfowl hunting areas on the north and south sides of the wildlife area’s Tule Island.
In partnership with CDFW, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority, California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways and local irrigation districts are working on a long-term plan to control water hyacinth within the Fresno Slough. The control effort will likely take multiple years to complete and trailered boat access will be reinstated when the current hyacinth infestation has been reduced.