Giant Salvinia Detected in East Texas Lakes
Giant salvinia is bad news. This non-native invasive aquatic plant can severely limit fishing and boating access as well as displace native beneficial plants that are used as habitat by fish. Once it becomes established in a lake, it is nearly impossible to completely remove.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports that since October, the destructive plant has been found at boat ramps on Lake O’ the Pines, Lake Wright Patman, Lake Gilmer, and Lake Murvaul. This has led to stepped up efforts by the TPWD to rid these lakes and ramps of the giant salvinia before it takes hold.
A probable source of giant salvinia in East Texas is Caddo Lake, where the giant salvinia coverage is particularly high this winter. Most ramps on Caddo are currently covered in giant salvinia, and it is almost impossible to launch a boat without covering the trailer with the invasive plant. A single plant transported on a boat trailer from one lake to another can lead to a new infestation.
Not only is unknowingly transporting the plant bad, it’s also against the law and could result in a $500 fine.