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Congressmen seek solution to invasive plant

Congressmen seek solution to invasive plant
East Texas Community Newspapers
News

POSTED: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 9:08am

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 9:55am

Boaters are being asked to stop giant salvinia from spreading, as no method for eradication has been found.

Texas lawmakers also believe in prevention, and boaters who transport giant salvinia on their boats or trailers are subject to get a ticket.

“The violation will receive a citation for people who transport it,” said Texas Game Warden Todd Long, who serves Harrison County. “We’ve been trained and are watching for this.”

Long said the ticket is a misdemeanor and has a fine from $25 to $500 on a first offense.

State and federal officials toured Caddo Lake after holding a hearing on the problem of giant salvinia in local lakes. The lake’s shallow depths prevented the group from touring most of the lake.

While it was not the vast carpet seen in past years, officials did find small clumps.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler said he was pleased to discover the giant salvinia weevils are a cost-effective method for controlling the plant and noted $35,000 could buy 1.3 million of them.

“I still get a little nervous about introducing new things to kill something that was not here,” Gohmert said.

“They’ve got to get the weevils out early and in numbers so that they eat it faster than it grows, like a contest for if they will eat it fast enough,” said Randy Westbrooks, an invasive species prevention specialist.

Read the full story here.

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