MARSHALL (February 5, 2013)--An invasive plant that's become a problem on Caddo Lake has spread to at least four other East Texas lakes, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials say.
The non-native giant salvinia is showing up on boat ramps at Lake O' the Pines, Lake Wright Patman, Lake Gilmer and Lake Murval.
Agency spokesman Lynn Wright said boaters inadvertently accelerate the plant's march through the state's lakes because the salvinia clings to boats and trailers.
A single plant can double in just a week.
The plant grows to a thick carpet on the lake surface, blocking light for other plants beneficial to fish.
Once established, the salvinia is nearly impossible to eliminate.
The problem is severe this year on Caddo Lake, where most boat ramps are clogged with it.