Invasive Species

Water Hyacinth

Since the formation of the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the management of non-native invasive plants has been a primary concern.

The treatment and removal of these plants is often very labor intensive and expensive with several different treatment options at our disposal. From refuge staff and contractors using herbicides to volunteers manually removing plants, every single plant removed helps.

In 2016, we had three key projects on the refuge. Two were completed but will require maintenance treatments over the next 2-3 years.

The first completed project was a 40 acre treatment of Chinese tallow tree along the railroad track and “lost 40” area on the Art Project Rd. The second project area was a 40 acre treatment of Chinese tallow tree and Chinese privet on the new property acquisition. The area identified had a high concentration of tallow and privet due to previous timber harvest with no invasive treatment by the previous landowner. Both projects were funded through a competitive proposal process to the Invasive Species Strike Team.

The third project area, which will require ongoing treatment and monitoring for several years is the treatment of giant salvinia on the lake. Giant salvinia was first discovered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries staff while they were treating water hyacinth on the lake. Refuge and State staff conducted a cooperative treatment of salvinia in early September and subsequent treatment by refuge staff continued late into the year. The salvinia may never go away fully. However, no treatment would likely spell doom for the lake, as this plant is one of the most noxious, fastest growing invasives in the world, capable of doubling in size or coverage in 48 hours.