Your July 4th article entitled “Natural Obstacles in Clarks Creek” did not properly identify the reasons why Clark’s Creek summertime flooding occurs and did not identify any realistic solutions to the problem. The weed choking Clarks Creek is not native. It is Brazilian Elodea which has been identified in numerous Clarks Creek Studies commissioned by the City and Department of Ecology among others. The Brazilian Elodea is listed as a priority evasive species on the Washington Invasive Species Council’s web site. This massive spread of this weed has resulted from the fertilization that occurs from the City’s unrestricted non-filtered runoff and the State Fish Hatchery’s long term release of residue fish feed into the creek.
Clark’s Creek summertime flooding continues to occurs due to the growth of the evasive Brazilian Elodea and the long list of government agencies (City of Puyallup, Puyallup Tribe, Department of Ecology, Department of Fish and Game, WSACE and the list goes on) that claim the creek as their resource and do nothing to manage or maintain that resource resulting in a polluted, sediment filled stream and flooded private property.
All these competing public agencies have studied this issue to death at taxpayer’s expense and acknowledged the Brazilian Elodea and associated sedimentation as the problem but choose not to work together to try and resolve the issue. The current one cutting a season will not eradicate the Brazilian Elodea but it will control it. We have lived on the creek for years and the only times our property has been flooded in summer is when there was less than two cuttings or no cuttings of the Brazilian Elodea by the City. There is no need for any of the agencies to study this. It is an empirical fact. To think that volunteers pulling the weeds can achieve the same results as the cuttings is naïve.
Those of us truly concerned with Clark’s Creek as a resource worth saving and managing responsibly think there are other alternatives that can result in a real resolution to the Brazilian Elodea infestation of the creek. Those are the exploration of the use of herbicides such as fluridone and diquat as shown to be very effective in past use on the DOE website. Another option would be the introduction of the only known predator, the grass carp, which appears to find Brazilian Elodea very palatable. There is also passive sediment collection technology available that would be a onetime fix marketed by Streamside Systems.
This technology is proven and would safely remove the sedimentation the Brazilian Elodea needs to survive Clarks Creek would be restored to its natural gravel bottom..
Those of us who live on Clark’s Creek are asking the agencies who claim the creek as their resource to work together to explore these real resolutions to the Brazilian Elodea infestation problem and quit the useless and expensive studies and feel good weed pulling exercise. In the interim the two weed cuttings a season needs to be immediately reinstated by the City to stop private property flooding and damage until reasonable steps to a final solution to the Clark’s Creek Brazilian Elodea infestation are implemented.