NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students enrolled in Stephen F. Austin State University’s natural resources section of SFA 101 removed more than 100 pounds of the invasive species giant salvinia from Lake Naconiche this month.
Dr. Matthew McBroom, associate dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA, said students used canoes to navigate the remote coves along the Telesco Creek arm of the reservoir where the invasive species infestation is most concentrated.
“Giant salvinia is an invasive exotic weed from southern Brazil that was introduced to the southern United States through the aquarium trade,” McBroom said. “This noxious pest can completely choke lakes and reservoirs, eventually killing fish, plants and insects in impacted water bodies.”
Following the collection, students transported the material to the shore for disposal by Bill Plunkett, manager of Lake Naconiche.
Dr. Shiyou Li, director of SFA’s National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, is developing novel approaches to control giant salvinia and other invasive species. McBroom said in the meantime, control efforts like those conducted by SFA students help to effectively maintain affected aquatic habitats.
“This also gives students an opportunity to learn more about the environmental conservation techniques they will be covering in future coursework,” McBroom said.