Treatment to Manage Invasive Plant Resumes in Eno River

Friday, June 30, 2017
Treatment to Manage Invasive Plant Resumes in Eno River
Pictured is an infestation of the non-native, invasive plant hydrilla in the Eno River, downstream of Hillsborough.

Herbicide treatment for an infestation of an invasive aquatic plant in the Eno River starts today in Hillsborough and will last through September.

The herbicide Sonar Genesis is being applied in a concentration well below limits set by the EPA and is safe for humans, fish and wildlife. Property owners adjacent to the treated section of the river have been notified by the Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force and cautioned regarding the use of river water for irrigation during treatment for the Asiatic plant hydrilla.

The treatment follows a two-year pilot program that showed significant reduction of the plant without impacts to the rest of the ecosystem or to human health. Hydrilla grows rapidly, creating thick mats on the surfaces of lakes, rivers and other waterways and impeding recreational activities and the health of fish and wildlife in the area. Sixteen miles of the Eno River are being targeted, from Hillsborough to Roxboro Road/N.C. 501 in Orange and Durham counties.

Hydrilla was discovered in the Eno River watershed in the early 1990s in Lake Orange, which is upstream of Hillsborough. In 2009, biologists confirmed hydrilla in the Town of Hillsborough’s reservoir — West Fork Eno Reservoir. The N.C. Division of Water Resources is managing hydrilla in both reservoirs as it can clog intakes for supplying drinking water and irrigation.

The Town of Hillsborough is helping to fund the treatment in the Eno River, and Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager Terry Hackett is a member of the hydrilla management task force.

For more information, see the complete news release from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Or contact Hillsborough’s stormwater and environmental services manager by email or by phone at 919-296-9621.