Water hyacinth invades lake
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
The South American water hyacinth has striking light blue to violet
flowers located on a terminal spike.The fast-growing plant can only be
pulled up and burned or hauled off.
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Colorful, lush with delicate blooms and destructive.
The sudden appearance – starting almost three weeks ago – of this alien
plant belies the fact that the water hyacinth is now entrenched in green
beds, covering beaches and blocking boat ramps.
Monitor Photo/ Barbara Gartman
The beach front at Lakeshore RV Resort is turned into a jungle from the
influx of water hyacinth, a South American plant that is illegal to
possess or transport due to its fast growth.
“It grows like a weed. That’s why it’s illegal to have it,” Kaufman
County Extension Agent Ralph Davis told The Monitor.
In fact, the plant is not even native to North America, and is not only
illegal to possess, it is illegal to transport, even if stuck to the
bottom of a boat. So it’s best to check the boat over before pulling it
up onto the highway.
“It is a floating plant coming down from the Twin Creeks,” reservoir
manager Buckley Butler said.
Photo/ Barbara Gartman
The boat ramp at Lakeshore RV Resort is blocked by the floating water
hyacinth plant, washed down from creeks during the recent heavy rains.
“It can live as a floating plant and it doesn’t have to root in the
lake,” he said.
Further, this is not the first time the plant has invaded Cedar Creek
“We had the same occurrence in December, 2006,” Butler explained.
Describing the phenomenon of small, floating islands of plant life, lake
area residents have been watching the hyacinth spread.
“The plant will go all the way down to the Trinity, down to Livingston
and eventually on to the Gulf,” Butler said.
The hyacinth is already growing along the banks of the Trinity River, he
“The only thing residents can do is to physically remove it, stack it up
on the bank and let it dry, and then either burn it or have it hauled
off,” he said.
“If we had a hard freeze, and the duration was long enough, that will
kill the plant,” he said.
But spraying the obnoxious weed is not an option, Butler emphasized.
“Homeowners (fronting the lake) are not allowed to use a (weed killer or
other chemical) spray without getting written permission from the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department,” Butler said.
The plant has already caused problems at boat docks and beaches in the
Lakeshore RV Resort, owned by Lucy and C.D. Smith, not only has its
shoreline covered, but the boat dock and beach, as well.
Big Chief Landing reported problems in getting boats into its docks.
Drivers along State Highway 334 can see the encroaching plants at the
docks of the former Causeway Marina.
The water hyacinth is native to South America, but has managed to
encroach and become naturalized in much of the southern United States.
The free-floating perennial can grow to a height of three feet.
It has dark green leaves, ranging in shape from circular to elliptical.
Underneath the water is the thick, heavily branched, dark fibrous root
It has striking light blue to violet flowers located on a terminal
The very aggressive invader forms thick mats that can cover the entire
surface of a pond, resulting in oxygen depletion and fish kills.
Heavy rains have not only added to the spread of water hyacinth here. In
South Texas, the giant salvinia is choking waterways, as well.
The fernlike floating water plant was first discovered on Toledo Bend
Reservoir in southeast Texas in 1998.
In the following 10 years, giant salvinia has been found in 11 Texas
The two-foot-thick mat-like coverings can disrupt ecosystems, and render
the water unsuitable for fishing and boating.
Caddo Lake is facing an uncertain fate, due to the expansion of the
More than 100 acres of the damaging plant has been discovered on the
Angelina River, north of Lake Sam Rayburn.
In September, an infestation was discovered in Lake O’ the Pines.
Because of the easy way these plants can be spread by boaters, a stiff
$500 for each plant discovered on the boat or vehicle has been enforced.
Seven Points sets city cleanup
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–The city of Seven Points announces its autumn cleanup for
Large dumpsters will be set up behind city haul, and city workers will
be on hand to help unload vehicles and trailers from 8 a.m. to noon.
Residents are welcome to drop their discards off throughout the weekend,
provided there is room in the dumpster, city secretary Debbie Mosley
“They’ll take just about anything,” she said.
Things that can be recycled, such as tires, car oil and car batteries,
should not be disposed in the dumpsters, nor hazardous waste materials,
such as paint.
Discarded appliances will be taken for pickup by a recycler, so don’t
put these in the dumpsters, either, but to the side of them, Mosley
IESI, the city’s trash hauling service, is providing four roll-offs as
an added service to its Seven Points customers.
Forgery ring bust
Monitor Staff Writer
KAUFMAN COUNTY–After a lengthy investigation, the Kaufman County
Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest of five people involved in a highly
sophisticated forgery ring.
The ring is credited with the theft of more than $100,000 from banks,
businesses and individuals from Longview to Seagoville and all the way
down to the Houston area.
According to a Tuesday press release, Matthew Brandon Peters, 29, and
his wife, Karie Ann Peters, 38, were arrested and charged with forgery
on Sept. 15.
The suspects were located in a Days Inn Motel in Mesquite.
The couple is being held in the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center on
$85,000 and $75,000 bonds, respectively.
Matthew Peters also was shown to have an outstanding warrant out of
On Sept. 14, Cory Nicole Marble, 21, of Wills Point was also arrested in
connection with the investigation. Her bond has been set at $1,500.
Two more suspects were arrested by the Kilgore Police Department.
Kaufman law enforcement reports the operation used stolen checks from
area businesses and individuals to create counterfeit checks, and used
stolen identifications to cash the checks at an assortment of businesses
and local banks.
The investigation continues, with more charges expected to be filed.