New Invasive Plants Discovered in the Feather River downstream of Oroville

Environmental scientists with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Oroville Field Division have discovered a new aquatic invasive plant in the Feather River downstream of Oroville. The new floating aquatic plant is the South American spongeplant (Limnobium spongia), previously known from the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

* South American spongeplant Limnobium spongia

South American spongeplant Limnobium spongia

This is the second new, HIGH RATED invasive plant species DWR has discovered in the Feather River in the last three years. In 2019, alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) was found adjacent to the Feather River Outlet Boat Ramp. Neither of these species were previously known in Butte County but have been expanding in recent years across California.

*alligator weed

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) move from one area to another via watercraft, personal water gear, pets who have entered the water, and by wildlife. Cleaning and drying anything that came in contact with water (including pets and clothing) will help prevent the spread of AIS.

You can help minimize the spread of AIS by thoroughly inspecting all equipment after leaving a waterbody; clean any visible mud and plants from watercrafts, equipment, and personal gear; and drain water from all equipment, including bait buckets, and ballast tanks.

Invasive plants can de-stabilize dissolved oxygen cycles needed by fish and aquatic organisms, crowd out native plants, shade out crucial shallow-water fish habitat, obstruct waterways and navigational channels, and block agricultural and municipal water intakes.

Find out information on what’s being done by CALIPC (California Invasive Plant Council) 

Protecting California’s environment & economy from invasive plants:

The 39 Most Invasive Plant Species in California: