Current Status of the Aquatic Plant Control Program in Texas
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The Aquatic Plant Control Program in Texas, a shared-cost arrangement between the federal government and Texas, is at present primarily directed at eradication or control of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Water hyacinth are treated with 2,4-D formulations applied at a maximum rate of four lbs in 100 gal water per surface acre, with spreader stickler additives to ensure adhesion to plants. Infestations are under manageable control except in parts of the north coastal work area; 28,933 acres of hyacinths have been eliminated in eight watersheds since 1970. Alligatorweed infestations have increased greatly on much of the Texas coast in recent years as a result of increased nutrient levels in basins and creation of new reservoirs. Control efforts, dependent to date on the alligatorweed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila), have been only partially successful due to erratic weather -- delayed winters, frequent rain, and cool spells during peak beetle growth periods. Future control efforts will integrate herbicidal treatment with continued introduction of flea beetles; herbicides will consist of the same 2,4-D formulations and rates as for water hyacinth. Current operational activities of the plant control program are concentrated in the lower portions of 10 of the 18 work areas; a table of infestations is given. The most critical areas are the Trinity and Sabine river basins, and the north coastal area. (See also W78-11591) (Lynch-Wisconsin)
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