Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: New aquatic weed treatment successful
- 2013 - 320 articles
- 2012 - 1160 articles
- 2011 - 1177 articles
- 2010 - 810 articles
- 2009 - 779 articles
- 2008 - 949 articles
- December 2008 - 88 articles
- November 2008 - 73 articles
- October 2008 - 71 articles
- September 2008 - 91 articles
- September 30th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 18 articles
- September 24th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 14 articles
- September 23rd, 2008 (Tuesday) - 6 articles
- September 20th, 2008 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- September 16th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 17 articles
- September 10th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 3 articles
- September 9th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 13 articles
- September 5th, 2008 (Friday) - 2 articles
- September 4th, 2008 (Thursday) - 7 articles
- September 2nd, 2008 (Tuesday) - 10 articles
- August 2008 - 98 articles
- July 2008 - 98 articles
- June 2008 - 60 articles
- May 2008 - 66 articles
- April 2008 - 108 articles
- March 2008 - 70 articles
- February 2008 - 48 articles
- January 2008 - 78 articles
|New aquatic weed treatment successful|
Hyacinth dying at Turkey Creek treatment sites
The water hyacinth and giant salvinia steadily suffocating Turkey Creek Lake are slowly releasing their grip thanks to a new chemical treatment that is killing these invasive species.
The first application of the herbicide "Galleon" was in early July when the water hyacinth mats practically covered the areas of Turkey Creek Lake known as "Little Brake" and "Big Brake."
The treatment was administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and SePRO, the company that markets Galleon. SePRO is a company which specializes in aquatic weed control. Their scientists analyze and recommend control measures for undesirable aquatic weeds.
Today the water hyacinth (floating plants with purple flowers) and giant salvinia (which has leaves about the size of pennies) are practically gone except for brown, dying pockets along the bank.
Thanks to the insight of local landowner Kermit Burnside and the willingness of Sen. Neil Riser to support the experiment, removing these aquatic weeds on a larger scale may be at hand.
Burnside credits Riser as "the catalyst" for convincing the LDWF and SePRO to use Turkey Creek Lake as a test area.
"Neil Riser has taken the ball, the leadership role in getting this going," Burnside said.
A frustrating fight
Burnside's farm borders Big Brake and since retiring from Eli Lily he has watched these aquatic weeds claim the environment, choking out fish, wildlife and the indigenous plant species.
Burnside, a plant pathologist who worked in agrichemical research for 30 years, became frustrated watching the LDWF fight a losing battle to control the hyacinth and salvinia by foliar spraying with various herbicides.
The foliar applications killed plants by contact, but there were many areas where the water hyacinth was too profuse to even reach by boat, much less spray efficiently.
Plus, these plants are prolific, spreading new shoots quickly from areas which could not be reached with spraying operations by LDWF.
Burnside's experience developing herbicides and his knowledge of the chemicals available today led him to contact Riser about trying something new.
"These plants are not native to Louisiana and they are overtaking lakes at an accelerated rate," said Riser, who has closely followed progress made with Galleon.
"With the 350-acre tract on Turkey Creek Lake we were able to secure through wildlife and fisheries secretary Robert Barham, we have been very successful," said Riser.
Larry Hartman of SePRO and Evan Thames from the Ferriday office of the LDWF, know the Big Brake area well – they've covered it foot by foot in a boat. They're the ones who applied the treatment and monitor the progress.
Last week they were taking water samples to check the concentration of Galleon.
Hartman explained that the amount of the herbicide – known chemically as sulfonanilides – put into the water is miniscule. The amount of herbicide applied is calculated by the volume of water being treated.
"A few parts per billion diffuse through the water. The herbicide spreads itself and works back into areas where a boat can't go. They take it up through the root system," he said. "It works on the plant's ability to make food."
Because of the recent heavy rains, water samples were needed to determine if the concentration of Galleon was adequate. If the results from the water samples indicate the solution has weakened significantly, another dose of Galleon could be added to keep the diffused amount stable.
The treatment is non-toxic to fish and wildlife and does not affect the native vegetation, according to Hartman.
"The treatment is selective," he said.
As an example, he pointed out that the bright green native "Sagittaria," commonly known as arrowhead, continues growing while the hyacinth and salvinia around it dies.
Burnside said in addition to interfering with boating activities, heavy growth of undesirable aquatic vegetation interferes with fish and wildlife habitat.
As the hyacinth and salvinia are slowly controlled, the fish population will return and fishing opportunities will be greatly increased, according to Burnside.
More to come
Other areas of Turkey Creek Lake are reaping the same benefits from the new treatment. SePRO and the LDWF will keep working with the project and eventually – as funding allows – expand it to cover the entire lake.
"We're here to break the back of this problem," he said. "We want to quietly take out the bad guys and leave the good guys."
If the experiment frees Turkey Creek Lake from the stranglehold of these invasive predators, help could be on the way for other Louisiana lakes, bayous and rivers facing the same problems.
Riser said he's going to pursue legislative funding to expand the treatments.
"This is a statewide issue, not a regional one," Riser said. "This affects everyone in the state who enjoys and uses the our waterways. This is the only treatment at this time that kills these weeds."