CROCKETT, Texas (KETK) Texas Parks and Wildlife has found less than one acre of invasive giant salvinia in several locations at a Houston County lake near Crockett earlier this month.

A social media post tipped off wildlife officials and a team was sent in to investigate on November 8.

The aquatic habitat enhancement team found the majority of the plant in the south cove of the reservoir with more scattered in areas on the north side of the lake.

Those areas will be treated with careful application of contact herbicide on larger mats of the invasive plant.

“All three growth stages were observed during the survey, indicating it is a relatively new infestation. We will begin treating the giant salvinia at the lake in the coming week, but we also need hunters, anglers and all other lake users to help prevent it from spreading further by cleaning, draining and drying boats, trailers and gear every time they leave the water.”

John Findeisen, Brookeland AHE team lead

Giant salvinia is currently present in 17 East Texas lakes, including:

  • Houston County reservoir
  • Caddo Lake
  • Lake Conroe
  • B.A. Steinhagen restervoir
  • Lake Livingston
  • Lake Murvaul
  • Lake Nacogdoches
  • Lake Naconiche
  • Lake O’ the Pines
  • Lake Palestine
  • Lake Raven
  • Sam Rayburn reservoir
  • Sheldon reservoir,
  • Lake Striker
  • Lake Texana
  • Lake Timpson
  • Hemphill City lake
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir

In addition to harming the recreational experience at lakes and damaging aquatic ecosystems, the transport of aquatic invasive species can result in legal trouble.

In Texas, transporting prohibited invasive species is punishable by a fine of up to $500 per violation.

Boaters are also required to drain all water from their boat and onboard receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water in order to prevent the transfer of aquatic invasive species.

Because early detection is an important part of reducing or eliminating the presence of giant salvinia, TPWD encourages lake users to report new sightings to (409) 698-9121 or via the online report form.

Text TPWD GS to 468-311 for updates on giant salvinia (GS).