The Caddo Lake Giant Salvinia Eradication project will advance management options for giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) in Texas and other infected states. Giant salvinia is a free-floating aquatic fern, native to South America and introduced to the United States by the water garden industry. Since its introduction, giant salvinia has proven to be an aggressive invader that can double in size in four to 10 days under favorable growing conditions.
Caddo Lake was first infested with giant salvinia in 2006 and within two years the plant expanded its coverage on the lake from less than two acres to more than 1,000 acres. Efforts conducted to control giant salvinia thus far have yielded moderate success but have not completely eradicated the species from the lake.
This project is evaluating and demonstrating multiple control methods - biological, chemical, mechanical and others - and assessing their effectiveness in killing giant salvinia. The project's goal is to identify the most effective control methods and incorporate them into agency guides, such as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Field Office Technical Guide and AgriLife Extension's educational program materials, so public and private entities have proven methodologies available for use on private water bodies.