Update on Giant Salvinia on Lake Athens

Aquatic vegetation control is a year-round hot topic on Lake Athens.  This is especially true this year, since additional Giant Salvinia has been re-discovered.

 

At the November Board of Director’s meeting, John Findeisen, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Inland Fisheries Aquatic Habitat Enhancement - Aquatic Invasive Species Biologist, gave an update regarding the re-emergence of Giant Salvinia.

 

Some highlights of the update include:

  • The Aquatic Habitat Enhancement team have, so far, conducted two chemical treatments for Giant Salvinia, with each treatment covering approximately four acres of Lake Athens (another treatment was conducted Monday, November 16).
  • The current chemical treatments are using herbicides focused on the Giant Salvinia, while sparing the native aquatic vegetation.  Native vegetation is beneficial as it helps contain the Salvinia. 
  • The types of chemical treatments will change as the weather changes and native species enter dormancy.
  • As the chemical treatments begin to affect the Salvinia, small portions of the plant may break-off and float to other locations.
    • This is why the boom located near the marina is so important.  The boom is the last line of defense against Salvinia floating to other portions of Lake Athens.  Only cross if there is no vegetation present against the boom.
    • If the boom is broken or damaged, this defense is gone.  If you see the boom is broken or damaged, report it to AMWA immediately, so that they may coordinate with TPWD to have the boom repaired quickly.
  • The current infestation of Giant Salvinia may not be a reintroduction of the species into Lake Athens.  This could be regrowth from the infestation that was first found three years ago.
  • The introduction of automated aquatic vegetation control devices may help undesired aquatic vegetation from rooting.  These devices are more commonly called “aquatic weed rollers,” with brands like Lake Groomer, Beach Groomer, etc.
  • AMWA and TPWD are putting together information for Lake residents who may be interested in an automated vegetation control system.

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