In Lake Fork, A Tiny Plant Threatens Trophy-Sized Fish, And A Way Of Life
anglers come from all over the world to fish Lake Fork, a 27,000-acre lake in east Texas with a reputation for producing monster fish. And in their quest to land a lunker, those fishermen also sustain the local economy. Which is why a new species in the lake has caused quite a bit of concern. And it’s not a species of fish, but a plant – an invasive floating fern called giant salvinia.
Giant salvinia was brought here from South America to be used in aquariums. It sucks up oxygen and pushes out native plants and fish. Despite the name, it’s actually small, about the size of a half dollar. It looks like a bright green circle with a crease down the middle.
“I mean it looks pretty harmless. But it’s by far the most troublesome invasive plant that we have and it really doesn’t have any ecological benefit, and you can’t fish it," says Kevin Storey. Part of his job with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife it to monitor the lake. And right now, that’s a tough assignment...
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