Texas Parks and Wildlifew Inland Fisheries personnel observed waterhyacinth on Lake Quitman during a routine electrofishing survey this week.
According to TPWD District 3B Supervisor, Kevin Storey, this invasive plant was first observed by District 3B staff in 2001 and since that time it has been managed through a series of manual removals and chemical treatments. The last time waterhyacinth was seen was in August 2010. Since that time, low water levels created by drought have kept plants confined to the upper reaches of Brushy Creek. Recent storms bringing rain and wind have flushed these floating plants back onto the main lake. On October 8, TPWD staff recovered waterhyacinth plants from approximately 4.5 miles of the shoreline on the western third of the reservoir and discarded them at the end of the CR 1434 road bed to dry out. Unfortunately, plants in the back end of Brushy Creek were too abundant to remove.
Storey says physically removing waterhyacinth is a short term solution that has restricted the distribution, at least until the next rain storm.
"Chemical control offers more permanent control and District staff will work with the controlling authority to devise a treatment plan," Storey said.