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Herbicide to be used to control eelgrass on clam beds

April 4, 2014

After a public process, the shellfish industry can begin using the herbicide Imazamox this spring to control the eelgrass on commercial clam beds in Willapa Bay only.

The Department of Ecology requires the herbicide to be used April 15 to June 30 only, with only one treatment allowed per year per clam bed.

No aerial application is allowed, and may not be applied to a 10-meter property line buffer, with some exceptions.

The Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association requested the permit to help manage the growth of the non-native eelgrass.

It is spreading over Willapa Bay shellfish beds, making it difficult for the shellfish industry to grow and harvest clams.

Ecology held a public workshop and public hearing about this permit in South Bend on Feb. 1, 2014. Its public comment period ran from Jan. 2 through Feb. 15, 2014.

Permit details and Ecology’s responses to public comments are available on the agency website.

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