What’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Spraying on Canyon Lake Dam’s Service Road and Embankment?

dam service road
Image of Canyon Lake's popular walkway courtesy of Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.
Image of Canyon Lake's popular walkway courtesy of Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.

Herbicide application on Canyon Lake Dam’s access road in scenic Overlook Park is underway, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) declined to say whether the chemicals used are organic.

Several residents raised concerns about the environment after USACE announced it would close the popular walkway and tourist spot Tuesday and today to stage equipment and apply herbicide.

Crews are spraying the rip rap and downstream embankment for woody plants and other unwanted vegetation.

Javier Perez Ortiz, lake manager, said a state-licensed contractor decides which product to use based on the species being targeted. The company must follow federal, state and local laws which safeguard the environment.

“USACE is responsible for the environmental stewardship of Canyon Lake,” Perez Ortiz said today in an email. “Invasive species occur in our project and include terrestrial and aquatic plants, animals, and insects. Invasive species are serious threats impacting wildlife and fisheries’ habitat as well as human health, and impose enormous costs for eradication and management efforts.

“The management of invasive species requires us to take steps in the war against them,” he said. “These include: 1. Prevention, 2. Early Detection & Rapid Response, 3. Control, Eradication, Restoration, and 4. Coordination and Cooperation.”

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