Invasive Weeds Take Over Sacramento County Pond

A Sacramento County pond transformed into a major animal safety problem after a fast-spreading foreign plant took over.

Video Transcript

TONY LOPEZ: Invasive weeds and animals tangled in fishing line-- a Sacramento County pond has become a major safety problem after a fast-spreading foreign plant took over.

ELIZABETH KLINGE: CBS13's Anna Giles with the water warning.

ANNA GILES: A Fair Oaks pond people love to visit is almost unrecognizable.

- It's like a carpet covering an entire body of water.

ANNA GILES: The pond at Sailor Bar overtaken by an invasive weed known as azolla or red water fern. It's native to South America. Rescuers initially came here on reports of a beaver found dead, uncovering another problem.

- The beaver had a hook in its tail and fishing line wrapped around it. We're not sure of the cause of death, so that's being investigated.

ANNA GILES: It's a dual danger for plants and animals. Ducks and fish getting stuck and unable to move through the invasive weed. Botanists say, it's literally choking plants.

- It cancels out any light. So if you get this covering on water, you're not going to get light to the plants. You're not going to get like to the algae. And then you're going to prevent oxygenation of that water.

ANNA GILES: Sacramento County Regional Park rangers have fielded multiple calls about Sailor Pond.

- You can remove weeds from local waterways, and that's something that we've done now at the lake at Mather Lake.

ANNA GILES: The department does not have plans for Sailor Pond yet, but rescuers, like Allison Seconds, plan to try and do some cleanup on their own.

- Obviously, it's needed. Wildlife is certainly at risk.

ELIZABETH KLINGE: Botanists say this invasive weed not only kills off other plants, but it can clear the way for toxic algae to grow, as well, creating another deadly concern for wildlife.