What’s green and slimey, and sucks the oxygen out of the water and the sky?
Kermit the Frog’s singing voice?
“Miss Piggy” doing a cannonball?
(Jim Henson is rolling in his grave.)
The threat is Giant Salvinia, a water weed that originates in South America.
Salvinia Molesta, aka Giant Salvinia came most likely came by unsuspecting boaters into the waters of Caddo Lake.
The plant is deadly to the lake because it chokes off all oxygen below and above the surface, killing fish, birds and native plants.
Giant Salvinia weed that seems harmless,and even pretty at first, but then becomes a monster, doubling in growth at a rate of every 2 to 4 days.
At least 5,000 acres of Caddo Lake are already strangled by Giant Salvinia, since it was first discovered in 2006. The plant has also been found in 18 Texas reservoirs.
It would be harmless more or less in its own natural habitat, but this is foreign to the lake’s agriculture, and so it becomes an overgrown plant seeking to survive and thrive in Caddo Lake's cold waters.
What can be done?
A giant fence was erected about 2 miles long in 2007 in an attempt to prevent the fast-growing weed. But in 2008, Hurricane Ike battered much of the fencing and scattered the Salvinia across the lake anyway.
Still, education and awareness aid in prevention.
Brochures were created to alert visitors to Caddo Lake and instruct boaters on how to check their boats and trailers for possible contamination.
Boaters are encouraged to clean, drain and dry their boat, boat trailers and equipment off whenever they leave an area, and to avoid using infected boat ramps, where most of the Giant Salvinia infestations are found.
Though Giant Salvinia is the worst threat, and the most recent invader, there are other plants that threaten the ecosystem: Alligator weed, Hydrilla, and the Water Hyacinth, which has been on the lake for 50 years.
Environmental officials are experimenting with methods to eradicate these threats. They’ve tried torching with 2,000 degree heat, spraying herbicides, mechanical harvesting even releasing plant eating beetles which can only survive the warmer temperatures. But all of the other methods have failed to get rid of the threat.
Luckily, their scientific name being Salvinia Weevil—the Giant Salvinia is the only thing they will eat.
Hope they are hungry!
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Watch this video for more
Giant Salvinia—A very wicked plant VIDEO link
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