Archive for April 8th, 2010

Giant Salvinia Problem in Texas

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Giant Salvinia was first discovered in 1998 in a small schoolyard pool in Houston.

:10—Later that year it was found in Toledo Bend Reservoir. And our next sighting was in Lake Texana, and then we found it in Lake Conroe and then Lake Sheldon, east of Houston.

Howard Elder is an aquatic habitat biologist. It’s thought suppliers of tropical plants to nurseries brought Giant Salvinia to the US under a different name. And flood events introduced it to public waters where it flourishes, forming dense floating mats.

:11—Which essentially block out all the sunlight, shading out native aquatic vegetation species, and inhibiting the production of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which are critical to the health of any aquatic ecosystem.

Mature plants have leaves that are about the size of a fifty cent piece and are covered with hairlike structures. Plants can be light brown to chartreuse in color. One acre of Salvinia can become two acres in as little as one week, and can grow faster than our ability to remove it.

:08—We have documentation from a recent infestation in Hawaii, where it grew faster than they could remove it with backhoes out of a small pond.

Tomorrow: what Texas is doing to manage this invasive aquatic exotic. Find more information about Giant Salvinia and other invasive exotics at

That’s our show… with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.