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Training session to combat invasive giant salvinia announced

August 5, 2010

An educational seminar to teach Toledo Bend Louisiana residents techniques to control invasive giant salvinia will be held Aug. 14. at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) building in the Toledo Town community near Many at 9 a.m., Agriculture and Forestry commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.
“Home and camp owners on the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend have had tremendous problems with giant salvinia infesting boat docks, fishing piers and recreational areas,” Strain said. “They asked us for help to learn how to control the aquatic weed around their properties so we set up this special class.
“Last winter’s freeze killed off a lot of giant salvinia, and for lakeside residents, this is a great opportunity to keep it from reestablishing. The more the individual property owner can control it, the better it will be for the overall health of the lake.”
Strain said the program is designed to teach lakeside residents the basics of controlling giant salvinia but emphasized that the class is a requirement to obtain a giant salvinia herbicide permit.
“We encourage lakeside property owners to take the class and learn how to control giant salvinia, but they have to get a permit to be able to apply the herbicide legally,” Strain said.
To register for the class, call the Sabine River Authority at 318-256-4112. The teaching session ends at 2 p.m. Lunch will be served to those who register before Aug. 12. Seating is limited.
Instructors from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Pesticide and Environmental Programs Division, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the LSU AgCenter will be conducting the educational seminar.
According to an LSU AgCenter report, giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) does its damage by growing into dense mats that can eventually cover an entire waterbody with vegetation as thick as three feet. These mats smother native plants and phytoplankton by blocking the penetration of sunlight into the water. With no phytoplankton present and no water surface open to the air, available dissolved oxygen rapidly becomes depleted, killing the fish in the waterbody. The loss of native aquatic plants and open water also destroys the value of an area as a waterfowl habitat.
The Louisiana Sabine River Authority, Toledo Bend Lake Association and the Toledo Bend Citizens Advisory Committee are sponsoring the seminar.
“I’m pleased that the LDAF can support Wildlife and Fisheries, the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Sabine River Authority in the fight to control this noxious weed, and I’m extremely glad to help Toledo Bend property owners in their efforts to control this aquatic pest,” Strain said. 
The DAV building is located at 29336 Hwy. 191, Many, La., 71449. For driving directions, contact the Sabine River Authority Tourist Information Center at 1-800-259-5253.