AUSTIN – In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature provided $6.3 million to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for aquatic invasive species management in 2018-2019. With this and previous investments, the department has continued to expand prevention and control efforts against aquatic invasive species like giant salvinia, zebra mussels, giant cane and many others that cause environmental and economic harm to Texas.
In cooperation with universities, river authorities, municipal water districts, non-profits, local, state and federal agencies, and other partners, during this time TPWD has delivered more than 60 aquatic invasive species management projects statewide, including these examples:
- 64 high-risk lakes were monitored to aid in early detection of invasive zebra mussels
- 60 rivers and lakes were managed to control infestations of aquatic invasive plants
- 2,001 acres of invasive water hyacinth were treated on Texas lakes
- 18,390 acres of invasive giant salvinia were treated on Texas lakes
- 394,616 giant salvinia weevils were produced and stocked in Texas lakes to control invasive giant salvinia
- 9,452 acres of aquatic invasive plants were treated at Caddo Lake
- 3,472 acres of aquatic invasive plants were treated at Toledo Bend Reservoir
- Arundo and other invasive plants were treated along 180 river miles across six Hill Country river basins in partnership with more than 400 landowners as well as cities, river authorities, the Texas Department of Transportation, and other individuals and organizations
- 10,400 acres of invasive saltcedar were treated along 178 miles of the upper Brazos River in partnership with 60 landowners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and others
- 564,000 registered boaters received “Clean, Drain and Dry” invasive species prevention information
- 179 million impressions were made through radio, online, print, and outdoor advertising as part of the 2018 “Protect the Lakes You Love” campaign
Details about this work, including photos and story profiles showcasing various projects, are on the department’s aquatic invasive species management website.
With the summer boating season just ahead, the department and its partners will be calling for boaters help to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species like giant salvinia and zebra mussels that can be spread from lake to lake on boats and trailers. Given boats are the primary way these invasive species are spread, boaters need to “Clean, Drain and Dry” their boats, trailers, and gear every time they travel from one waterbody to another. Boats stored in the water on lakes with zebra mussels pose the highest risk for moving zebra mussels and must be properly decontaminated before they’re moved—email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. An online video demonstrates the simple steps to properly clean, drain and dry a boat.