Trying to keep weeds out of 'Sam'

Dianne Lowery, Store Owner
Dianne Lowery, Store Owner
Crystyle Lowery, Hair Salon Owner
Crystyle Lowery, Hair Salon Owner

ETOILE, TX (KLTV) - By Donna McCollum - email

ETOILE, TX (KTRE) – Shirley Creek Marina's future is extremely important to the economic welfare of Etoile, and so is the health of Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

That's why many east Texans are taking an active role in trying to keep the aquatic weed of giant Salvinia out of 'Sam'.

Motorists looking north of the Highway 103 bridge vividly see something yellow floating in Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

"They (drivers) go across that lake and they want to know what the yellow ropes are for and what's happening," said Dianne Lowery, a nearby store owner.

It turns out what they see are containment booms placed there by the Texas Parks and Wildlife to collect Salvinia.

Lowery said she is doing her part to control the Salvinia by educating customers about its rapid spread. "If it get all over this end," Lowery said while pointing at the lake, "then we won't have the fisherman coming to the lake and then it will hurt my business."

At Crystyle's Beauty Salon in Etoile they know all about unruly hair and the unruly weed. "They're asking all boaters, when you get out and exit the lake, to please lift up your motor [and] clean your prop because this plant is known for spreading from lake to lake very easily and it cuts off all life underneath the water," said Crystyle Lowery, the salon owner.

Fishery experts say the booms are the most cost effective way to contain Salvinia so it can be easily removed or sprayed. This year the Texas Parks and Wildlife got a little help from Mother Nature as a freeze killed a good deal of the giant weed.

But the Salvinia problem is not eliminated, just under control.

"We were doing some shallow water fishing and, yeah, it interfered with some of our fishing, but at this point, not terribly," said Angler, Jim Alexander.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Fishery Division, with the help of the Corps of Engineers have the containment booms at the Highway 103 bridge, and where Coleman Creek enters the reservoir.

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