Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007
Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi, fund the project through the Federal Aquatic Plant Control Program. Currently the center holds permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to collect; ship, and field release these insects in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Puerto Rico. Our permits for the continental U.S. are issued for a period of 3 years and USDA-APHIS monitors the release of the insect. Permits for Puerto Rico are issued on a yearly basis.
The alligatorweed flea beetles are generally collected in May along the St. Johns River by staff utilizing sweep nets while running airboats through beds of alligatorweed. The insects are sorted from other bugs, packed in fish worm containers with alligatorweed, then packed in coolers with a small amount of ice to be air expressed to their destinations. State and county agencies, universities, and other federal agencies receive the shipments and utilize them on their properties or distribute them to other areas as needed. Most recipients of the flea beetle program indicate that they provide good control of alligatorweed.
The waterfern (Salvinia minima) is naturalized in Florida and has become problematic in certain slow moving water bodies and canal systems along the St. Johns River. Prior to funding reductions in 1996, the District controlled this species with herbicides. In 2000, it was noted that Salvinia minima populations seemed to cycle in some of these areas. Upon further examination, adult Salvinia weevils (Cyrtobagous salviniae) were collected from Salvinia minima samples
from these areas. populations.
The weevil appears to contribute to the cycling of Salvinia
Adult weevil populations were monitored monthly at four locations on the St. Johns River in north Florida. The sampling areas included two undeveloped natural creeks, one creek with residential development and one canal system surrounded by residential development where Salvinia had become a problem. The potential for augmenting weevil populations to assist in the control of Salvinia minima will be discussed.
Session 6A – Page 3