Bass Times: Giant salvinia weed busters

SHREVEPORT, La. — Late last year, vandals accelerated the spread of giant salvinia into the western portion of Caddo Lake located on the Texas-Louisiana border.

Six times in November, workers found ropes cut on barriers designed to help contain the prolific invasive plant on this natural lake.

"We have no idea what is motivating whoever is vandalizing the barricade," said Ken Shaw of the Cypress Valley Navigation District. "But they are committing a criminal act and one that endangers the safety of every boater who navigates boat road G."

That criminal act falls under the intentional destruction of government property. Additionally, a person damaging the barricade could be charged with other crimes, including public endangerment and violations of the Federal Noxious Weed Act.

"While it is true that salvinia has spread west of the barricade, every bit we stop and remove buys all of us more time to marshal our forces to combat this monster," said Robert Speight of the Texas Greater Caddo Lake Association.

"The Federal Noxious Weed Act makes it a violation of federal and state law to not only transport salvinia, but to knowingly allow it to spread. We will do everything in our power to see that the culprit or culprits are prosecuted to the maximum in local, state and federal courts."

The association has created a reward fund for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the vandalism. Anyone with information should call the Harrison County Sheriff at 903-923-4000 or the Marion County Sheriff at 903-665-3271.

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