AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) The presence of giant salvinia has been confirmed by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Bringle Lake in Texarkana.
According to TWPD, they were alerted to the potential infestation of the invasive species.
Giant salvinia, a highly invasive, free-floating aquatic fern that can double in size in less than a week under ideal growing conditions, is one of the major threats to aquatic ecosystems in Texas.
The invasive plant produces thick mats making fishing, boating, swimming, and other water recreation nearly impossible.
While giant salvinia is currently not limiting angling or boating access in Texas public waters, there is still a chance of plants hitchhiking from one lake to another on a boat, trailer, or other equipment.
“Managing the Bringle Lake giant salvinia infestation will be challenging as the plant has spread throughout much of the lake and is mixed with numerous aquatic plant species. We should be able to gain control of this infestation this summer, but eradication is likely impossible.”John Findeisen, TPWD’s Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Team Leader in Brookeland
In November 2019, giant salvinia was present in 17 lakes:
- Houston County reservoir
- Caddo Lake
- Lake Conroe
- B.A. Steinhagen reservoir
- 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
DRAIN & CLEAN YOUR BOAT
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).
HISTORY OF THE SPECIES
It was first detected outside of aquarium and landscape cultivation in South Carolina in 1995.
Giant salvinia was first identified in the Houston area in spring 1998, but later that same year it was discovered in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas’ largest water body.
Giant salvinia may be distinguished from its smaller relative, common salvinia another highly invasive species, by its leaf hairs.
In the case of giant salvinia each of the tiny hairs on the leaf surface split four ways and then come back together at the tip to form an egg-beater shape.