2008-12-15 to Eradicate Alligator Weed in Southwest Creek

2008-15-08 Southwest Creek & Noxious Alligator Weed

Please come and help us to get rid of this horrible weed.

John Althouse and Suzanne Ulbrich of the Jacksonville Daily News will have pictures and a
story about this experiment shortly. Please look for it.

We are trying to eradicate this noxious weed in this lovely creek.

This section of Southwest Creek is in Camp Lejeune, NC.

For years many attempts have been made to do this. Chemical sprays have been used
to kill it and flea beetles have been introduced to eat it. These methods have been used
successfully in Florida.

Unfortunately not so here in North Carolina as you can see by what follows. Now we
have found a natural way to eradicate alligator weed here.

Our hard freezes kill it down to the water level every winter. The river current carries
tons of the roots living below the water surface downstream to to die in salt water.
It will not live in salt water.

So, for the past three weeks our paddle trips have used natures help and aided it
further by nudging what roots are hung up on the shore line out into the river to float
downstream to its death in salt water.

We know this is true as the very first evidence of a mass of roots was found just above
the road leading from Perimeter Road down to Southwest Creek. There is a large concrete
barrier at the end of this road at the river.

See map (hybrid) at: (the roads shows up in white) Thanks to Ed Gruca.


On one trip we removed many large bio-masses of alligator above this point
by nudging them back into the current with our paddles, rakes and brooms and
what ever works. We think a gas or battery powered electric blower would do it
once it is removed and is free of what ever is holding up its downstream progress.

We love this new method as it is all natural and requires no chemicals or
introduction of foreign bugs.

The first picture below shows a solid mass of floating alligator weed roots stopped in its natural downstream progress by the railroad

bridge supports.Those are our shadows and the shadow of the bridge railing. When we got

down on the water in our canoe we discovered the pilings for the old

bridge were cut off at water level. These are located between the new pilings. They

add greatly to the difficulty of moving the alligator weeds downstream

where all this mass would have gone to be killed by salt water before it reached the Maple

Landing area.

These old pilings need to be removed to allow the free flow of the

river. Three sections are further blocked by floating logs trapped

because of them. These under water old pilings are also a serious hazard to boats.

These are parts of this bio-mass which we moved through the bridge. In the afternoon Scott

Brown scouted downstream to check on their progress. The larger globs

were 3/10ths of a mile downstream and smaller pieces were one half mile.

Another view of the stuff on its way to die in salt water.

A long distance view of it from the bridge.

The same again.

This is a view from the bridge from the west side of the island.

Yes a lot of it was trapped over there too in places.

Four jets on their way to Florida.

Going, going, gone! That on the left is and was hung up along the shore. It needs to be

gently nudged back into the river flow. .

This is looking down on the west side at lunch time. That is the island on the right. As it

worked out, we cleared the west side in the morning and the east side in

the afternoon.

Isn’t it beautiful with the alligator weed gone! It all would be gone if it

weren’t for the bridge and especially those old submerged cut-off pilings.

Link to map of this paddle: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2433838

We are planning a return visit to get all trapped alligator weed from the
railroad bridge down to its normal death in salt water.

This will take place on Monday, December 15, 2008. We will meet at 9:30 in
the Food Lion parking lot on Rte 17 South of Jacksonville. This is opposite the
Main Gate to the Marine Corps Air Base.

Those with canoes and kayaks and small light Jon Boats can launch at the railroad
bridge. Motor boaters can launch wherever they usually do and look for alligator
root masses along the shore on either side and all of the myriad of of delta like
waterways existing here.

All one needs to do is to nudge them off the shore into the current of the river.
A light garden rake or your paddle will do it.

We can sponsor all needing passes for their vehicle to get on the base. You will
need your registration and a separate further evidence of current insurance.

We need all you fishermen to help us. Please join us. If you are going fishing here
Saturday or Sunday take a rake with you and pull any clumps of alligator weed roots
out into the river to float freely on their way to certain death!

Weather Monday is sunny and middle 60s. Come and enjoy it on the water with us!
All are invited, especially those concerned about this invasive water weed taking over
our waters. Come see for yourselves. Thanks, Elmer

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”


2008-12-03, Alligator Weed in Southwest Creek

Every summer this noxious weed grows so fast it takes over the entire waterway in places. This makes fishing
impossible. The rapid growth begins immediately in the early spring. Freezing weather kills it but only the growth
above the water level. This dense growth becomes a foot or more high above the water surface.

The tangled interwoven mass of roots below the water surface remain very much alive waiting for the warmer days
of very early spring to sprout again. Even a few warm winter days will immediately induce new growth.
On November 26th we launched our canoes and kayaks at Maple Landing on Southwest Creek and paddled upstream
to Mill Run, a small tributary which runs under North Verona Loop Road. We had been paddling about one half hour
along the western shore line of Southwest Creek when we noticed a mass of alligator roots snagged on a pine branch
and floating in the water. We continued upstream to Mill Run which we had never paddled before.

Along the way we saw more alligator weed in very small batches hung up along the shore line. These petered out as
as we paddled further upstream and soon there were no more on Mill Run. When blown down trees blocked our further
upstream progress we turned around and stopped at that large mass of alligator weed we noticed on Southwest Creek.

We found out that we could move the entire mass out into the current of the river and we soon had it floating away
downstream with the normal flow of the creek aided by an out going tide.

As mentioned above this mass of alligator weed was the very first we saw since leaving Maple Landing. This is very clear
definite proof the alligator weed cannot live in salt water. This establishes the fact that salt water kills it.

The whole story of this trip, with before and after pictures, of this large glob of alligator weed can be seen on our web site:
www.whiteoakstewards.org It is under “Current Events, 2008-12-26, Mill Run, Camp Lejeune, NC.”.We recommemd
that everyone interested in getting rid of this noxious weed view this article and the pictures.

We were so delighted with this discovery that we scheduled another trip on this to move
all floating alligator weed snagged along the shore out into the current to float downstream to its demise.

On December 3rd we again launched at Maple Landing and paddled up the eastern shoreline this time. Southwest Creek
has several islands this took us up the east side of the first large island. We came to a concrete barrier on the shore which
is at the end of a dirt road off Perimeter Road past the end of the runway.

Immediately past this point we came upon our first sighting of alligator weed. This picture shows the mass floating
downstream after we had set it free to do so.

Two kayakers attacking a clump on the other side of the river.
Here is some more on its way to die in the salt water.
This is a solid mass hung up by the railroad bridge on the east side. We ran out of time to move this. We will
get back here as soon as we can to to get this out and moving down stream to its death along with all the rest
which Mother Nature has already killed for us.

This shows the huge mass prevented from going down stream by the railroad bridge supports. These supports are
eight to ten feet apart but the alligator weed is so twisted and entwined or knitted together it acts like a solid mass and so is stopped by the bridge supports.

Looking down from the bridge.

Looking through one section of the bridge supports. We will try to pull it through to go down stream with all the rest.
Unfortunately it was low tide. See the alligator weed left by high tide on the top of the fallen tree. At high tide we can get all this
floating downstream again.
This is our group for the day. L/R Scott Brown from Morehead City, Harry Patterson from Jacksonville,
Joseph Lorson from Jacksonville, Jim Niedermeyer from Hubert and Paul Duffy from Jacksonville. Paul and
Joe are new recruits. We ate lunch here at the second dirt road up stream.

Some are objecting to us helping nature to move this alligator weed down stream. One point they stress is that
any little piece left behind will sprout and form a new mass. Our reasoning is that we are moving billions of
little pieces downstream mass by mass to die is the salt water.

Which do we want to have? A few isolated little pieces left behind or billions in masses that will quickly again
block the whole river solid as it has for years in spite of spraying and the introduction of flea beetles.

Another question mark is that the water may not be salty enough to kill it. Our answer to that is that we could
not find any above on either side of Southwest Creek for a very long way. This is pretty obvious proof that
it does not live in salt water.

We have many more pictures which prove we are right. Let’s stop what we have been doing, at least on Southwest Creek.
We can spray and use beetles on the little if any that may be left.

Let’s help nature with what she does naturally if it were not for our railroad bridge and some blown down trees.it all
would be gone downstream to die already.

I you believe us please come and help us. We will meet at 9:30 at the Food Lion parking lot on this coming Monday, Dec 8
We will get passes at the Air Base for those that need them.We will launch our canoes and kayaks right
at the railroad bridge. Motor boats cannot launch here but they can meet us at the railroad bridge. A rope behind a
motor boat could pull large masses of floating alligator weed out into the main current to be carried away to be
destroyed naturally.

If you don’t believe us please visit the railroad bridge yourself. W
e think you will change your mind and please do not
continue to object to what we are doing if you have not visited the railroad bridge to see what is there. The west channel
on the other side of the island where the current is strong is clear of alligator weed. This means the great bulk of it in the creek
has already gone though to its death in salt water. Let’s help nature take care of the rest. Thanks, Elmer

We had a great day on the water and look forward to Monday. Come and join us if you can.
High temperature in the fifties and sunny.

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”