East Texas lake officials trying to prevent Salvinia from spreading

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The opening of boating season is the opportunity to further educate Texans about the spread of Giant Salvinia.

"It takes away the oxygen in the water. It completely covers over the water," said Terry Sympson, Jackson Hill Marina manager.

The plant has no anchor. So the wind, a boat moter, even a fishing lure can lead to its spread from lake to lake.

"Once it starts growing it can double in size in just a couple of days," said Leslie McGaha, B.A.S.S. Federation volunteer.

The weed is found on any number of East Texas lakes, including Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Caddo, but right now Giant Salvinia hasn't been found on Lake Nacogdoches.

At Lake Nacogdoches fishermen are working hard to develop a trophy lake, but they know Giant Salvinia could easily defeat the project.

That's why Lake Nacogdoches fishing guide Jim Hobson goes the extra mile when fishing lakes covered with the weed.

"I stop and pick it up so if you see some of it in the middle of the lake out in open water it doesn't take but a minute to stop and pick it up, put it in a trash bag and throw it away," Hobson said.

The effort falls right in line with what Governor Perry suggested last week. Texans are asked to embrace the war on Salvinia as they've enthusiastically done with the Don't Mess with Texas campaign.

"I admire the state for what they're doing," Hobson said.

In the eyes of anglers, Giant Salvinia can very much be considered litter.

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