Many people who enjoy fishing or boating in our area are well aware that there's been an issue with salvinia for some time and that includes Sam Houston Jones State Park which has seen its fair share of problems with salvinia.
It's a growing issue for Louisiana water ways. The invasive water weed salvinia is a continuing concern that state officials must deal with. Dr. Stuart Johnson from the Office of State Parks explains that salvinia is tough to get rid of.
"Yeah, it keeps coming back and of course working closely with wild life and fisheries we've done some things. about a year and half ago they came in and sprayed and got rid of it, but then again it got re-introduced, so this past summer again the pond was over grown with the weeds."
Not too long ago the Wildlife and Fisheries department realized that the particular salvinia outbreak in the park was not the giant salvinia like it was originally thought to be which as Dr. Johnson explains could make things a little tricky.
"We're dealing with a little be different animal here, which in some sense is better, but in another sense it creates more of a difficult problem. Methods being used to eradicate the giant salvinia is the use of weevils and in the case of the ordinary salvinia the weevils don't eat it, so you can't use the weevils."
So that led to a new course of action as they drained the pond with the salvinia infestation at Sam Houston and let the winter weather kill off the weed.
Park officials hope that this will make the salvinia infestation more manageable once temperatures begin to rise.
Because as long as the salvinia is around it's not just a problem for the ecosystem but also the financial situation of the park, which decreases the number of boat rentals and the overall marketability of the park explains Dr. Johnson.
"...it affects the visitors use. their ability to have that enjoyment and then again it also affects fishing and it's a popular spot for people to catch fish and if you're not catching fish then they're not going to come to the park and it'll have a financial impact as well that way."
Recently there has been new state legislation introduced and if signed into law it would increase funding to help eradicate as well as research other methods of dealing with the salvinia.