New invasive attacks Caddo; emerald ash borer not yet in Longview

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A new invasive species has reached the border of Texas — and Caddo Lake.

According to our newspaper partner Longview News-Journal, forest service biologists long have known the emerald ash borer was on its way, spreading south from Michigan where the Asian pest was first detected in 2002.

Texas became the 26th state to host the tree-destroying invader when four adult beetles were caught May 6 in a single trap at Harrison Bayou east of Karnack, along the lake’s southern shore.

“We knew we were due at some point, but to actually catch it is kind of a disappointment,” said Allen Smith, a forest health coordinator for the Texas A&M Forest Service out of Longview.

The discovery adds the emerald ash borer to a growing list of invasive species making a home on the state’s largest natural lake. The lake-choking giant salvinia remains the chief disrupter, but the newly arrived beetle joins hydrilla, water hyacinth, Chinese tallow and nutria as unwanted lake residents.

Smith said no infected ash trees have been found in the Longview area.

But, he noted, recent flooding at the lake makes tracking the bug a challenge.

Officials are on the hunt, including Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area Manager Vanessa Neace and Laura Speight, the latter armed with specialized tracking dogs keen to ferret out the beetles.

Read the full report on the Longview News-Journal’s website.

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