Monday November 7, 2022


Water hyacinth, which thrives in drought conditions growing on shallow, slow-moving waterways, crowds out native plants, blocks water intakes, shades out shallow-water fish habitats and obstructs navigational channels.

The invasive, leafy green plant, not native to California, shows up and rapidly spreads each year in San Joaquin County waterways from the McLeod Lake in downtown Stockton to the Calaveras and San Joaquin Rivers.

As Ronald Rossi, a junior at Stockton’s University of the Pacific crosses the Calaveras River to walk to campus each day, he sees the issue firsthand.

“Every time someone passes over that river, the only thing they can think is that it’s disgusting. There’s a muffler in there, there’s a chair, there’s a little fridge in there, there’s a couch — it’s bad,” Rossi said. “Recently, the water hyacinth has completely covered the water so you can’t see the mufflers at all.”

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