To Whom It May Concern:
Our staff has been receiving a number of reports concerning the possession and/or sale of certain exotic aquatic plants (particularly water hyacinth, Eichhornia spp., water lettuce, Pistis stratiotes, and Giant salvinia, Salvinia molesta). This letter is to remind aquatic plant producers/distributors that these plant species are illegal to possess in Texas. Possession of any prohibited plant species constitutes a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code Misdemeanor. Each individual plant of a prohibited species in your possession would constitute a separate violation. The punishments for a Class B Misdemeanor are: a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $2,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both such fine and imprisonment.
We would encourage you to communicate this information immediately to your associates in this field and anyone you feel may be dealing in aquatic plants.
The spread of exotic plants in some state waters have choked water ways and rendered portions of lakes unusable for humans and native aquatic life. The department considers the spread of exotic plants in Texas as an extreme threat to the native aquatic environment and a potentially dangerous situation. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Your immediate action could save you or your associates fines or imprisonment.
Proper disposal for such species would be to place them in an area void of water allowing them to dry completely or treatment with a plant killer. Under no circumstances should you release these plants into any waters within the state of Texas.
For your information, we have included our prohibited list and some information to assist in the identification of the above mentioned plants.
If you have any questions or would like additional copies of our departments prohibited list, please call me at 512/389-8037 or 1-800-792-1112, extension 8037. Please distribute this letter to the members of your society or any colleagues in your field. Thanks.
Exotic Species Program Leader
cc Law Enforcement
HARMFUL or POTENTIALLY
(all species of genus Salvinia)