Giant Salvinia on Caddo Lake
There's Something in the Water
"There's two kinds of lakes in the South: them that's got Giant Salvinia and them that's about to have Giant Salvinia."
Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, but its delicate eco-system is threatened by a seemingly unstoppable invasive species of floating fern: Giant Salvinia.
There's Something in the Water is an 8-minute animated documentary featuring interviews with people who live and work on the lake, demonstrating the damage that has been caused, and how everyone can work together to try and fix it.
A special thanks must be given to the residents, professionals and organizations who participated. Without their cooperation, this project would not have been possible.
Thank you for your time, insight, expertise, and personal experience.
CADDO LAKE LOCALS AND EXPERTS FEATURED IN THE FILM
Caddo Lake lies in the extreme Northwest corner of Louisiana and Northeast Texas, perfectly divided down the middle by the state line. Cypress trees curtained by Spanish moss line the maze of bayous and ponds. 20 threatened or listed species call it home. It is the State of Texas' only naturally occurring lake.
Giant Salvinia is a floating aquatic fern native to Brazil. Under the right circumstances, it can double it's size in a week. It is, in fact, so highly invasive that it is illegal to transport it on boat trailers, boat motors, or live wells.
In Texas, Salvinia was first identified in the Houston area in spring 1998. Later that same year, it was discovered in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas’ largest water body.
It was first found on Caddo Lake in 2006.
For Caddo Lake, Salvinia's damages to the local ecosystem were felt swiftly and dramatically. Salvinia outgrows and replaces native plants that provide food and habitat for native animals and waterfowl. It blocks out sunlight and decreases oxygen concentrations to the detriment of fish and other aquatic animals.
The State of Texas, in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Caddo Biocontrol Alliance, has executed a two-pronged approach - herbicide application and salvinia weevil releases - to control the invasive species.