Water Chestnut Pull Set for July 9 at Port Ontario

Port Ontario, NY –  The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, Oswego County River Guides Association and New York Sea Grant’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Resource Educators will hold a water chestnut pull July 9 in the lower Salmon River at the Pine Grove State Boat Launch off Route 3 at Port Ontario in Oswego County, NY.

Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager John DeHollander said, “It is difficult to slow the spread of water chestnut once it becomes established in a shallow water area. The non-native aquatic plant produces a large number of seeds, called nutlets, helping it to grow in colonies that rapidly multiply. The lower Salmon River area at Port Ontario has been targeted for water chestnut control because the plant has not become fully established there.”

Each water chestnut plant can produce as many as 300 seeds per year.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney, who oversees New York Sea Grant’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Education Program says, “The establishment of water chestnut can result in large floating mats of vegetation that “clog” aquatic habitats and limit the penetration of sunlight into the water column, impeding the growth of native plants and ultimately disrupting the food web.”

Water chestnut, native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, was unintentionally released into the Charles River from a Harvard University botanical garden in the late 1800s. It was known to exist in the Great Lakes Basin by the late 1950s.