2009-08-12,14,15,16 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC
A lot happpened to Alligatorweed in Southwest Creek over the above four days and prior.
Earlier some people had sprayed huge sections heavily, and unevenly with a chemical that
apparently was a contact only mix. It killed down to the surface of the water only. So it was
not a systematic mix. Had it been so it would have killed the under water growth and roots too.
What continued to live under water very quickly put out new growth above water and we
again had solid green alligator weed most everywhere. Their spraying did reduce the enormous
volume of alligatorweed above water wherever it was applied.
Brian Wheat and others sprayed with their systemic spray on August 12. They began below
Maple Landing. This is the first sighting this year of alligatorweed below Maple Landing. We
had several good rains earlier and these must have pushed the salter water kill zone downstream
into this area.
On the 14th, 15th and 16th we had heavy, prolonged rains over the Southwest Creek watershed.
The combination of these three things, the two sprayings and huge volume of fresh water has left
hodge-podge groups of alliagtor weed up and down the river. Some groups are still bright green and
thriving. Some are partially killed and others are just plain gone. These last ones are the best ones.
These last ones are gone completly from sight as all alligatorweed in this creek is killed when it is
transported by the river current into the kill zone. A good indication of where the kill zone normally
is to go by the Inland/Coastal water license signs installed by Wildlife. This is what they apparently
consider to be the dividing line between salt and fresh water.
Ed Gruca, couldn’t pass up taking a picture of these wild hibiscus or marshmallow. They were beautiful
as we came down into the marshes..
This is what we found at the railroad bridge. This was solid alligatorweed 50 to
60 feet upstream from the bridge. The prolonged heavy rains of the 13th, 14th
and 15th lifted it up and forced it downstream over and around the old pilings
that had been holding it up at the bridge. Tons of it went downstream to its death.
Please do not forget that this is the area that we had completely cleaned of all
alligatorweed back in the winter!
This is where we launch our canoes and kayaks at the Railroad Bridge. It is still
here and will remain so until Brian Wheat and this crew spray it. This is so because
it is not floating on the water but growing on land. There are several other spots
up and down the stream where it is growing on land and must be sprayed.
Ninety percent of the alligatoreed is gone! This is on the east side of the island.
Not so lucky on the westside. We estimate 70% has gone downstream. Which is
This is looking upstream from the east side of the bridge.
This is looking downstream from the RR bridge, that bush on the right is on
the island in the middle of the bridge. Pretty clean river, isn’t it?
Here we are looking upstream through the bridge on the east side.
This is looking upstream through the bridge on the west side.
A bright green thriving patch untouched by any spraying downstream of the bridge.
It must have been pushed through the bridge from upstream by the high strong
current after all spraying had been done. Remember, Brian and his group ran out of
insecticide a short distance above the bridge.
Ditto to the above further downstream
And more of the same!
All of these have not been touched by any spraying.
Another loavely patch.
And still more. All that has to be done to these is to loosen them from what ever
it is that is holding them up and let the current take them down to their death.
This one shows damage from spraying.
Assbout 1/2 of this one got sprayed.
Same here too. Also it may be that the kill zone is coming into play
We are now below both concrete barriers. We believe the kill zone begins in the area
between the two barrier markers. This is only 10% of what was here.
A little further downstream, the color is changing, is this the beginning of the kill?
This little patch is below Maple Landing. It wasn’t here when Brian and his group sprayed.
If it had been here then it would be dead and nonexistent, not bright green.
We pulled this little patch off its hang up. We are sure it no longer exists now.
We turned around the large island here and paddled back upstream to our take out
at the first concrete barrier. We encountered this bright green healthy patch right away
on our right shore line. We are sure that it will be killed when the river returns to its
more normal level and salinity in this area.
Anther similar patch further upstream.
And still another.
We reached our takeout point at the first concrete barrier well ahead of our expected
arrival time. We had a great trip and most enjoyable paddle.
We are also now more convinced than ever that if we all coordinate our efforts we can get
this noxious, invasive, imported alligatorweed under our complete control this year.
Here are our recommendations on how to accomplish this.
We base these recommendations on the premise that it it is not there it cannot perform
its rapid growth there as it does not exist there!
We must take advantage of our natural winter kill of all growth above water and land.
This is our enemy’s weakest state of existence. This is when we should be launching our
(It is also a time when spraying is not practical because there is nothing above water to spray!)
This winter time activity is to loosen and free the floating alliagtorweed to be carried downsream
to salt water.
Our attack at this time should be based on three other natural forces we are blessed with.
These are winds and rains and the resulting increased volume and strength of the river current.
(Use of the winds is more important in the lower wide open portions of the river. It is very
importent not to be freeing snagged alligatorweed when the wind is blowing it back uspstream!)
This year, right now, we recommend we not wait for the first freezing kill. We say this because of
the spraying that has been done has reduced the very heavy mass of above water growth and it
has not had time to grow back yet.
Depending on the number of people we have we can break up into several groups. One could start at
Route 17 and work downstream. (The best access is to put in at the first brdge below 17 and paddle
up to it.)
In the process of freeing the alligatorweed we should remove as much as possible of what ever it was
that was holding it up to prevent future snags at the same spot.
The next group could start at the Railroad Bridge and begin working upstream. Another group downstream.
At this time of year each group should have a licensed spray person with them to spray what ever could not
be dislodged including whatever is found growing on land. These licensed spray people wil not be necesaary
during the winter.
With total coordination and cooperation of all and especially those with motor boats it would be entirely
possible to have this entire section of Southwest Creek in the main channels free of all alligatorweed before
the first frost.
The necessary tools are light garden rakes, light garden cultivators with prongs, clam rakes work good, and<
br />grapple hooks on a rope are excellent. Even your paddle works good.
This a combination of using natures natural forses and chemical sprays to reach the goal we all are striving for.
Let’s make it work now!
Southwest Creek is a navigable stream State and Federal Laws make Navigable Waters “OURS”. Let’s take this
lovely stream back from this foreign invader who has taken it over and ruined our paddling, fishing and navigation
and much more.
This is being sent to all Stewards of Our Waterways, The New River Round Table, The New River Foundation,
White Oak-New River Keeper Alliance.The North Carolina Coastal Federation. North Carolina Wildlife,
The Tideland News, The Daily News, Coastal Carolina Canoe and Kayak Club, Coastal Carolina Kayakers,
Twin Rivers Paddle Club, Carolina Canoe Club, Onslw County Commissioners, City of Jacksonville,
Envronmental Management Division, Camp Lejeune, NC,
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
Stewards of Our Waterways
207 Spann Rd, Trenton, NC. 28585
910-389-4588 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”
Alligatorweed is worse than litter, it grows! IT IS A FOREIGN INVADER!