Monday, August 13, 2012

Video of Giant Salvinia and Other Invasives

On July 31, 2012, Mr. Jack Canson of the Caddo Lake Institute and Mr. Robert Speight of the Cypress Valley Navigation District ventured into the Clinton Lake and Bird Roost areas of Caddo Lake and shot some video of the current vegetation situation. The video was shot from a moving boat in the backwaters of Caddo, so it is a little fuzzy sometimes. 

What the video shows is somewhat disturbing in that it shows extensive amounts of giant salvinia along with plenty of other invasive plants. Aside from giant salvinia, alligator weed and American lotus are also problematic this year. In many cases, the alligator weed and lotus are so thick, that it is hard to see the giant salvinia. Anyway, watch the video and then read the rest of the post.

So the video shows some pretty extensive mats of giant salvinia and plenty of other aquatic vegetation. One good thing to note about this video is that salvinia weevils are actively being released into the Bird Roost area of Caddo Lake (where the worst of the giant salvinia was in the video). Two releases have been made this year and at least one more will be made before the growing season ends further increasing weevil numbers. Weevils have shown the ability to persist in this area of the lake through the winter and certainly have plenty of food/habitat here. As a result, weevil populations have the needed ingredients to expand on their own in this location. Additionally, this part of the lake is relatively isolated from the rest of the lake making an ideal weevil nursery.

As more weevils are released, chances of keeping giant salvinia in control increase; however, this is certainly an uphill battle. Continuing to treat giant salvinia with biological and chemical means while educating the public about the perils of giant salvinia are a must.

Please share this video with your friends and family and help show how this plant can take over a waterbody.

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