City making progress in clearing invasive plants from Elmendorf Lake

Still more to do, crews will monitor weekly

City making progress in clearing invasive plants from Elmendorf Lake
City making progress in clearing invasive plants from Elmendorf Lake

SAN ANTONIO – SAN ANTONIO--Since the initial story two weeks ago about the invasive plants that had taken over much of Elmendorf Lake, the city reports its crews have been making progress in the back channel of the lake.

“Parks and Recreation in coordination with Transportation and Capital Improvements have been removing debris and plant matter over the past two weeks,” said Connie Swann, the spokeswoman for Parks & Recreation. "We’ve made significant progress and will continue to work with TCI to address the area.”

Invasive plants persist north of Elmendorf Lake

Joe Pena, who first spoke up about the situation, said, “It’s a lot better, but if they don’t eradicate it totally out of the lake, we’re going to be back at square one, because it only took two months to cover the whole lake up."

In the city’s statement, Swann said, “Crews will monitor the area weekly and remove plant matter as needed.”

But as far as eradicating water hyacinth, Dr. Briana Salas, assistant professor of environmental and plant biology at Our Lady of the Lake University that borders Elmendorf Lake, said it won’t be possible. She said trying to control its growth could be the only way to keep the plant from overtaking the lake once again.

She said water hyacinth is so notoriously fast growing, it is illegal to have in Texas. But it’s likely someone was growing it as an ornamental, when a bird ate the seeds and deposited them in the lake.

Egrets set to be evicted from Elmendorf Lake Park

Salas said she predicts another growth spurt in the spring because the plant already had flowered, and rains likely dispersed the seeds into the lake.

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.