Japanese Knotweed Field Day

Last summer, Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D), the IA DNR, the US Forest Service, IA Natural Heritage Foundation, Allamakee County Supervisors, and area landowners partnered together to implement a new three year initiative to control Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) on private lands in the Paint Creek Watershed of Allamakee County. Sincethen The Driftless Chapter of Trout Unlimited (based in Decorah), the Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association (based in Cedar Rapids), the Allamakee County Master Gardeners, and many individuals have volunteered to join the effort to control and ultimately eradicate Japanese Knotweed in the watershed.

The work began last summer with GPSing the knotweed stands in the watershed. To date 26 acres of the weed have been surveyed, the majority on Paint Creek between Waterville and the west border of the Yellow River State Forest, plus several stands on homesteads in the watershed away from the stream. Plans are to complete the survey between Waukon and Waterville this summer. Also prepared last summer were three project demonstration sites to show results of different innovative treatment methods and timing.

The public and local officials are invited to attend a Japanese Knotweed Project Field Day visiting the demonstration sites on Friday, June 27th from 8:30 to Noon. There is no charge for the event.

The morning will begin with registration from 8:30 to 9:00AM at Allamakee County Waterville 55 Park at 938 White Pine Road east of Waterville. The program will begin promptly at 9:00 and will include presentations by RC&D Project Coordinator Richard Kittelson-The History of knotweed and the Project’s beginnings, DNR Fisheries Biologist Bill Kalishek-Knotweed’s impact on stream habitat and the stream’s fish, and a demonstration of trout stocking by the Big Springs Fish Hatchery.

The program will continue with stops to at least 2, and if time allows, 3 demonstration sites to view and discuss knotweed control techniques and results of herbicide stem injecting and using a recently developed spray foam applicator system that appears to be very promising. Also presenting information will be DNR Forester Bruce Blair-Background on the DNR’s control efforts in the Yellow River State Forest, and John Lampe-Developer of the foam applicator system.

As much of the infested area as possible will be treated with the ultimate goal of complete eradication of the Japanese Knotweed in the watershed. However, because of the current extent of the plant and its tenacity, three years will not be enough time to accomplish the goal. It is hoped that initial successes will encourage more partners to join the effort. This is the first and largest eradication effort of its kind undertaken in Iowa. It can be done! Volunteers in the effort are needed and will be heartily welcomed.

For further information or to volunteer to help, please contact Project Coordinator Richard Kittelson at NE IA RC&D at 563-864-7112 or kittelson@northeastiowarcd.org.