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Giant Salvania
ACaddo Lake Call to Arm

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 becomes available.


Copyright 2007 Caddo Lake News