Salvinia in Texas' Waters

     Soon after salvinia established itself in the Trinity River, the swarms of ducks stopped landing. That following spring, bass, crappies, crawfish, even minnows were gone, and the waterway lay blanketed making travel and recreation difficult.

     Giant salvinia, native to South America, is spreading unopposed in Texas' waters, and that's bad news for local waterways like Trinity. Because the plant's only predator, the Salvinia Weevil, is also native to South America, there's nothing to keep it in check in the the northern latitudes, and its incredible growth rate (doubling in volume in a matter of days) means it can quickly go from a small problem to a lake covering nightmare.

      And in the past month, giant salvinia was discovered in Lake Fork, "Texas' premier trophy largemouth bass fishery." From the time it was introduced till the time the article was written (about a month's time) the plant had spread to cover 3 acres.

      "It's clear the plants are coming in on boat trailers," said Tim Bister, Marshall-based district fisheries biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Boaters use their boats in an infested waterway, load it onto their trailer, and then later launch the boat in a previously clear waterway; if there is any of the plant attached to the trailer or hull of the boat, it has now spread to a new waterway. Once established, it's almost impossible to eradicate, and can be very expensive to control.

     The full article is available here or through the link below.