NACOGDOCHES – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports a total of 30 acres of invasive giant salvinia have been found in various locations at Lake Nacogdoches. Within days of the discovery of a half-acre of giant salvinia at the Yellow Bank Creek cove, a larger infestation was found where Little Bayou Loco enters the reservoir. Those areas will be treated with a combination of giant salvinia weevils and careful application of contact herbicide on larger mats of the invasive plant. It’s likely the plant traveled to Lake Nacogdoches by way of a visiting watercraft last summer. This is similar to the most recent infestation at Lake Fork, staff believe there is enough giant salvinia scattered throughout the lake that eradication would be almost impossible at this point.
Giant salvinia has been present in Texas for nearly 20 years. Giant salvinia was first discovered on Toledo Bend in 1998 and has since spread throughout East Texas. In addition to current infestations at Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and Caddo Lake, the invasive plant has been newly introduced or reintroduced at five Texas lakes since 2017: Lake O’ the Pines, Lake Palestine, Martin Creek Lake, Lake Fork and now Nacogdoches Lake.
All boaters should learn to identify giant salvinia as well as other invasive species that occur in Texas waters. Most importantly, boaters should remember to clean their boats and trailers before leaving the boat ramp. Transporting giant salvinia, along with other invasive species, is prohibited by law and punishable by a fine of up to $500 per violation.