ACaddo Lake Call to Arms
A Caddo Lake Call to Arms
Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta) has been called “the world’s worst
weed.” An invasive aquatic plant originating from Brazil, it first
appeared in Texas in 1998. It is established in several reservoirs,
mostly in East Texas. Giant Salvinia was first observed in Caddo
Lake on May 29, 2006 – on the Louisiana side. It most likely arrived
on the boat/trailer of an unsuspecting boater. It is rapidly moving
across the lake. Substantial infestations are now quite visible on
the Texas side.
As GS plants mat, they take over all vegetation. And we thought
water Hyacinths were a problem!
An acre of Giant Salvinia can DOUBLE IN SIZE in 3 to 5 days. It is a
grave threat to the entire Big Cypress watershed – and beyond.
Municipal water supplies are threatened. Sometimes 2 feet thick or
more, the mats can cover the surface of an entire pond or lake,
blocking out sunlight that other plants need. And the mats use up
oxygen that fish, insects, and other aquatic dwellers require.
GS is a bother to humans as well. It ruins conditions for fishing,
boating, and waterskiing. The weed also clogs irrigation systems,
water intakes, and electrical generating systems
Herbicides and physical removal are at present the only means of
preventing the spread of Giant Salvinia from closing boat lanes and
continuing its westward migration. Volunteer and Para-professional
crews are working daily to remove giant salvinia in Texas side of
Caddo. These efforts need to be increased dramatically and
immediately to prevent potentially catastrophic infestations this
summer. The introduction of biological controls is under
consideration, but they are slow and far from the “silver bullet”.
Since January 25, 2007 GCLA members, and Caddo Lake area resident
volunteers have spent hundreds of hours working in all kinds of
weather to locate and remove Giant Salvinia from Texas waters. Areas
too large for removal are reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife for
further action by the state or Para-professional crews. FUNDING
ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED NOW to STOP GIANT SALVINIA AT CADDO LAKE.
GCLA has already started educational programs to minimize the spread
of GS. You will be receiving information on these programs as it