SANTEE, S.C. — Fishermen and boaters here along Lake Marion are urged to keep an eye out for an invasive plant called Salvinia. It's spreading quickly and Santee Cooper needs your help to control it.
“It’s an invasive vegetation. It’s not natural to these waters," said Santee Cooper guide Matt Outlaw.
Outlaw is a guide in Santee Cooper that takes his boat on the lake everyday. and he's seen it firsthand.
“It’s probably over the last three years when you’ve really started noticing it getting bad. I’ve seen areas that I’ve fished my whole life that you can’t even get to now because it’s taken over," he said.
Salvinia is an aquatic plant native to South America.
It's a problem because it can affect the quality of the water and stops the growth of other normal vegetation.
It spreads unknowingly through animals, boaters, and fishermen by transporting from one plant to another.
Santee Cooper has been applying treatment to different parts of Lake Marion to combat its spread.
“The problem is when they’re spraying and killing it they’re also killing your natural vegetation and the trees and everything so it’s kind of a double-edged sword right now," said Outlaw.
Some ways people can help control its spread are by cleaning their boats and removing any visible mud, plants, fish or animals that comes in contact with the water.
“They gotta kill it and manage it but like I said don’t kill it all, because if you kill it all you take away the fish habitat.”
Those who see Salvinia are asked to report it to Santee Cooper or the Department of Natural Resources.
To contact Santee Cooper call 843-761-4101 or email AquaticPlantControl@santeecooper.com. SCDNR can be reached at 803-755-2872 or email@example.com.