Caddo Lake team plans new front in war with invasive plant
POSTED: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:14am
KARNACK, TX — A newly-formed team plans to amp up production of an insect with a specialized diet that has shown to be the most effective weapon in the war on giant salvinia at Caddo Lake.
“We need to flip the approach we’ve used in the last six years,” lake resident Daren Horton said, describing the limited success of $1.6 million spent on spraying the Texas side of the two-state, natural lake.
The inadequacy of light applications of the salvinia weevil and heavy use of expensive herbicides became crystal clear last summer. That’s when the invasive salvinia choked water access at popular Johnson’s Ranch in Uncertain.
“That’s where everybody goes to get gas,” Horton said. “And when it became inaccessible, a lot of people started wondering what we are going to do.”
The owner of a pest control business, Horton volunteered early for efforts to beat back giant salvinia with herbicide. He and Texas A&M University extension specialist Lee Eisenberg said the weevil, which is the only salvinia predator, has been the most consistent and effective tool in their arsenal.
Horton and Eisenberg stressed they hope to control the salvinia, not eliminate it. Even if every sprig could be found and removed, it only takes one infested boat trailer to start the whole problem up again.
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