Missouri River Water Management News

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Vegetation control to begin on Missouri River sandbars between Garrison Dam and Lake Oahe headwaters, N.D.

Published Aug. 26, 2013

During the period between September 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will have a contractor spraying sandbars aerially with aquatically-approved herbicides for vegetation control on emergent sandbar habitat in the Missouri River below Garrison Dam and ending in the Lake Oahe headwaters (river miles 1381 to 1283). The Bismarck-Mandan area is excluded from spraying activities (river miles 1310 to 1325).

Aerial spraying will be conducted only on vegetated portions of sandbars previously identified for treatment. The estimated total acreage of vegetation to be sprayed is approximately 650 acres. Spraying will be done with glyphosate (trade name Rodeo) and imazapyr (trade name Habitat), both approved for aquatic use by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

Spraying may occur on weekends and will take place only when environmental conditions allow, such as little to no wind and no rainfall in the immediate forecast. All spraying will be done by certified applicators using a helicopter.

BACKGROUND: In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Biological Opinion in which the agency found the Corps’ operations on the Missouri River would not likely jeopardize endangered interior least tern and threatened piping plover populations if certain recommendations set forth in the BiOp were implemented. One of those recommendations is to restore emergent sandbar habitat as nesting habitat for these two species. By using aquatically-approved herbicides to control vegetation on the sandbars, they remain viable nesting habitat. After public review of a draft environmental assessment, the “Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Restoration of Emergent Sandbar Habitat Complexes in the Missouri River, North Dakota” was released in August 2013. A copy of this report can be downloaded at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/FinalDocuments.aspx.

Omaha District Public Affairs
Kelly Crane

Release no. 20130826-001