The Port Arthur News
Invasive species, plants or animals that find their way to new places they don’t belong and cause economic, environmental or ecological damage, have wreaked havoc throughout the U.S according to officials with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD).
Texas is home to a number of aquatic invasive species. These include salvinia, giant salvinia and zebra mussels.
Giant salvinia, first found in Texas in 1997, is a free-floating fern that can double in size in just a few days and can form mats up to three feet thick.
It can take over an entire cove in a matter of weeks, choking out all aquatic life below its thick mats and making boating, swimming or fishing impossible.
Its close cousin common salvinia has been a major problem here in Southeast Texas and looks very much alike the larger variety and causes the same problem.
Zebra mussels are small, less than 1 1/2 inches long as adults, and currently exist in Lake Texoma (on the Red River of the Texas/Oklahoma border) and in West Prong Sister Grove Creek above Lake Lavon according to TPWD.
Zebra mussels hitchhike their way from lake to lake on boats and boat trailers.
Zebra mussels, once they invade, attach themselves to almost any underwater object and quickly form large colonies on rocks, boat hulls, boat docks, pipes or even your trotline. They can make water recreation dangerous because of their razor-sharp edges, harm boats and motors, damage public-water intake structures and alter aquatic ecosystems to the detriment of native species and sport fish.
TPWD said one way to curb the spread of these destructive hitchhikers is to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers after recreating on any Texas water body known to have aquatic invasive species.
First, CLEAN all debris and plant material from the boat and trailer. Second, DRAIN all water from the boat, engine, livewells and bait buckets. Third, let the boat and trailer DRY for at least a week before using the boat in a non-infested water body.
If your boat has invasive species on it or if you don t have time to let it sit out and dry for at least a week, wash it using a high pressure washer with hot (140 degree F), soapy water.
These tips can help stop the spread of exotics and possibly save your favorite fishing hole.
Now onto the report:
North Sabine---Trout and reds remain fair on live bait and a variety of plastics. Most of the fish are under pods of shad. Reds are mixed with trout but the largest concentration of reds are in the marsh. Flounder are good on Gulp fished around drop-offs in the Sabine River south toward the lake.
South Sabine---Trout and reds are fair to good under schools of shad on the main lake, mainly along the south shoreline. Very few reports of flounder.
Sabine Pass---Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report trout remain fair to good around the jetties on live shrimp and mullet. Sheepshead are good on live shrimp tight to the rocks. Very few reports of flounder.
Lake Calcasieu (Big Lake)---Hackberry Rod and Gun reports the trout bite this past week has been early and good on live shrimp and east beast color Hackberry Hustlers. Reds are good in the marshes. Very few reports of flounder.
Sam Rayburn---Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials report largemouths are fair on minnows and small spinnerbaits. White bass are good on minnows and slabs. Crappie are good on minnows and Li'l Fishies over brush piles. Bream are good on shrimp and nightcrawlers. Catfish are fair on trotlines baited with live bait.
Toledo Bend---Holly Park Marina reports largemouths are good on topwaters fished early and late and a variety of worms fished on secondary points. White bass remain good in the river channel and main lake on spoons. Crappie remain good over brush piles in deep water. Bream remain shallow and anglers are taking worms and crickets. Some large bream are being caught.
TOLEDO BEND: Normal Pool Level: 172.0 Current Pool Level: 169.49 Was 169.86
RAYBURN LAKE: Normal Pool Level: 164 Current Pool Level: 163.48 Was: 163.72
B.A. STEIN HAGEN: Normal Pool Level: 85 Current Pool Level: 82.66 Was: 82.53
Chester Moore, Jr. is the News outdoors editor