Freedom Lake Water Hyacinth Eradication Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
Fish & Game #3
Document Title
Freedom Lake Water Hyacinth Eradication Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The County of Santa Cruz Parks Department (Applicant) is proposing to eradicate water hyacinth that has been established over approximately 98% of Freedom Lake and to prevent its spread to adjacent waterways. This project is proposed to be conducted in two phases that includes 1) mechanical removal of the water hyacinth and 2) an annual monitoring and maintenance regime. Mechanical removal of the hyacinth will be conducted by utilizing an Aquamog and several airboats to break up the solid mass of Hyacinth and then move the loose material to harvesters which will transport it to shore. Phase 2 will include monitoring and maintenance consisting of possibly hand removal and pesticide use. The California Department of Fish and Game is executing a Streambed Alteration Agreement Number 1600-2008-0269-3 pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 1602.

Contact Information

Suzanne DeLeon
Agency Name
California Department of Fish and Game
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 7,8; Sec 15307,-08
Reasons for Exemption
Removal of water hyacinth is critical as this is a very aggressive aquatic weed and can damage aquatic ecosystems by displacing native plants that provide food and habitat for aquatic and waterfowl. Freedom Lake is located upstream of the mainstem Corralitos Creek, the Pajaro River and the Watsonville Slough system. The spread of hyacinth into these aquatic environments could impact a number of species including steelhead and California red=legged frog, species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, a species listed as endangered under ESA and California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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