FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Boat use at the Mendota Wildlife Area in Fresno County has been temporarily restricted, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

State officials say, due to an overgrowth of invasive water hyacinth, trailered boats will be temporarily prohibited from entering the Mendota Wildlife Area for use in Fresno Slough.

The restriction is effective immediately – and scheduled through Feb. 13, 2023. 

Authorities say water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic plant native to the Amazon, can be detrimental when introduced to non-native environments.

This year, an overgrowth of water hyacinth has limited access to traditional waterfowl hunting areas on the north and south sides of the wildlife area’s Tule Island.

State, federal, and local water agencies are working on a long-term plan to control the water hyacinth on the Fresno Slough – but officials warn that the effort will likely take multiple years.