This invasive species (Salvinia minima) will rapidly form dense colonies in warm weather, and even heavy punching will do little to penetrate the plant. Some edge fishing may be available.
Spring—Native to tropics, common salvinia rarely overwinters in TVA system to continue growth in spring. Most plants are introduced annually from water gardens or isolated warm water areas. In late spring, existing plants can provide floating mats that can be targeted with flipping baits and jigs.
Summer—Will rapidly grow in system while weather is warm. Quickly forming dense colonies, even heavy punching will do little to penetrate within salvinia. Some edge fishing may be available.
Fall—Plants introduced in summer will maximize colonization by vegetative reproduction of new plants. Remaining colonies can be penetrated in late fall as the plants begin to die.
Winter—Preferring warm water, this species will quickly die off in winter. Fishing benefit is negligible.
Fish—Can provide habitat during early introduction but speedy growth and expansion can cause fluctuations in water quality and shade out beneficial submersed species.
Waterfowl—No known food value
What it Looks Like—A floating aquatic fern, common salvinia can be identified by its floating cupped fronds, which often appear hairy.
Where to Find It—This species thrives in calm, backwater areas but will begin to float throughout the reservoir with changing winds and currents.
Similar Species—Very similar to giant salvinia, but can be separated by an “T” shape to hairs within each frond. Giant salvinia is somewhat larger and hairs are shaped like egg-beaters.
Although this species rarely overwinters in TVA systems, it could quickly become a problem species if it becomes more tolerant of a cold water environment. Cost to manage: $$$ out of $$$$$.
We're always looking for more information about aquatic plants on TVA reservoirs. Let us know where and what you see, and send us your photos. Email us.