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Giant salvinia reaches Cheniere Lake



MONROE, La. – Giant salvinia, an invasive plant that can take over large bodies of water, has reached Cheniere Lake in southwestern Ouachita Parish, a retired biologist says.

Mike Wood, with the Cheniere Lake Citizens Advisory Committee, told the Ouachita Parish Police Jury earlier this week that the lake was exposed to the floating fern known as giant salvinia.

At some lakes, such as Lake Bistineau, attempts to control the spread of giant salvinia have proven difficult, the removal of the plant nearly impossible.

“Cheniere Lake has probably been exposed to it,” said Wood, who claimed he received a telephone call about a patch of giant salvinia at the lake. “It sticks to boat trailers and it’s transported wherever you go.”

Police Jury Vice President Jack Clampit, who presided over the meeting in Police Jury President Shane Smiley’s absence, asked whether the state had a program to control the plant through chemical spraying.

“We’ve tried a number of things to control it,” Wood said. “You can kill it with herbicides, but the plant has the reproductive capacity to double in surface area in eight to 10 days.”