333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

Clarks Creek Elodea Pilot

Overview of Hand-pulling Pilot Project

The management of elodea in Clarks Creek is an annual project that the City and Pierce County have cooperatively worked together on since 1991. The current management method includes a mechanical cutting operation that is typically completed in July each year to coincide with "fish windows" which are times that the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife allows work to be done within the creek. This method provides flood control for neighboring properties, and allows for annual maintenance to keep the nuisance, overgrown elodea under control.

In efforts to establish a more sustainable, less intrusive management method, research has been done to explore alternatives to the mechanical cutting operation.

In July 2011, the City, in cooperation with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, initiated a pilot project to hand pull the nuisance elodea weed from a test section of Clarks Creek. Other cities in Washington have reported success using a hand-pull method to remove and reduce the amount of invasive elodea in their waterways.

By pulling the entire weed, including the roots, a higher removal rate is achieved - versus the cutting method currently used. As the weed is pulled, it is removed from the water, and placed on floating collection platforms near the workers, then hauled out to a dump truck. This method prevents the weed from releasing seeds or breaking apart as it floats down to the collection point - as happens in the current mechanical cutting method.