Specific tasks that will be carried out under the Caddo Lake Giant Salvinia Eradication are described below and are meant to provide a cursory overview of the program to be established and the demonstrations to be conducted. As collaboration with project personnel, federal, state and local agencies, as well as local entities are established, the program will adapt to ensure that the most efficient use of funds is made. Collaborations will minimize duplication of efforts and assure sharing of information.
- Project Coordination
The Texas Water Resources Institute will coordinate and facilitate meetings among project personnel and cooperating entities to ensure that research remains focused, collaborations are maximized, educational programs are enhanced and information is adequately transferred.
The Texas Water Resources Institute will actively engage groups currently engaged in controlling giant salvinia and other invasive species to foster collaboration and information transfer on the state of the science in controlling giant salvinia. These groups include those participating in the Interagency Giant Salvinia Control Team, including the Caddo Lake Institute, Caddo Parish, Cypress Valley Navigation District, East Texas Baptist University, Greater Caddo Lake Association, Northeast Texas Municipal Water District, Northwestern State University, Louisiana Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Louisiana State University, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Texas AgriLife Research, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., USDA Agricultural Research Service, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research & Development Center and Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center.
- Chemical Treatment and Evaluation
Texas AgriLife Research and Extension will conduct small scale research on chemical treatment combinations and will establish chemical treatment research and demonstration sites at and around Caddo Lake using the most effective chemical combinations for killing giant salvinia. Killing giant salvinia at Caddo Lake is the primary focus; as such, demonstrations at private or isolated locations may be required for research demonstrations of chemical treatment combinations.
Small scale tests and evaluations of chemical treatment practice alternatives including differing chemical/surfactant combinations, concentrations, application timing and application methods will be evaluated for controlling giant salvinia at Caddo Lake.
The efficacy and cost effectiveness of each chemical treatment scenario will be evaluated and documented so that cost data will be available to individuals and agencies alike when making their decisions regarding selection of a treatment method.
Work will also be conducted to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of utilizing chemical treatments in concert with biological controls.
- Biological Treatment and Evaluation
Texas AgriLife Research and Extension will collaborate with other agencies and groups to effectively produce a sufficient population of salvinia weevils to inoculate Caddo Lake with additional salvinia weevils. Texas AgriLife Research and Extension will also setup and conduct new studies and cooperate in ongoing research and Extension educational programs to further the development of biological strategies for controlling giant salvinia at Caddo Lake. Once developed, these practices will be available for use on public and private lands statewide.
Work will also be conducted closely with TPWD and local Caddo Lake agencies, organizations and individuals to enhance weevil rearing capabilities for use at Caddo Lake. This will be done through the establishment of a 'Salvinia Weevil Rearing Facility' located at the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Once operational, this facility will produce weevils that will be delivered to Caddo Lake to biologically control giant salvinia infestations.
Work will also be coordinated with USACE's Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility to transfer knowledge and expand operations in rearing salvinia weevils.
Improved methods of rearing weevils, harvesting weevils, delivering weevils to infested areas in Caddo Lake and various timing options of weevil applications in Caddo Lake will be evaluated to determine the most effective biological treatment scenarios to employ to the extent possible. The efficiency and cost effectiveness of utilizing weevils to control giant salvinia will also be evaluated in these demonstrations.
Information gleaned from demonstration sites and research trials will be used to develop biological treatment recommendations and guidelines for use of weevils to treat giant salvinia in infested areas. These recommendations will include information on practice effectiveness, applicability, methodologies and costs.
- Other Treatment
Project personnel will work with federal, state and local agencies as well as local entities and individuals to evaluate the feasibility, efficacy and cost effectiveness of utilizing other treatment options (hydrological, mechanical, others) for controlling giant salvinia.
Treatment options other than biological or chemical that are found to be cost effective at controlling giant salvinia will be described in practice recommendations and will be included in recommended treatment strategies and guidelines.
- Education and Outreach
The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Water Resources Institute will work with TPWD and other agencies to enhance existing outreach and education efforts through the use of news releases, TV spots, demonstrations, and other communications focused on prevention of spread and control methods for giant salvinia. Project personnel will present information to local, regional, state and national groups as well as at invasive species management conferences on current efforts to control giant salvinia as well as information on practices that are being evaluated.
Partnerships with local, state, regional and national organizations will be identified and secured to expand the dissemination of educational materials on giant salvinia. These outlets will be used to further disseminate written, spoken and visual informational materials to a wider public audience.
- GIS Support
Texas AgriLife Research will also provide GIS support for all aspects of the project and develop maps illustrating project activities and demonstration locations. These maps will be used to ensure adequate coordination between the multiple entities who are actively engaged in killing giant salvinia at Caddo Lake.
- Treatment Scenarios Included in Agency Guidelines
Using information gleaned from this project, Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute will develop detailed strategies and practices for control of giant salvinia for inclusion in agency guidelines such as NRCS FOTGs, Extension bulletins and factsheets, TPWD outreach information and other agency materials for utilization in both private and public water bodies.
All parties involved will work closely with NRCS and other agencies to disseminate control practice recommendations for giant salvinia as appropriate.