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Water Management Associations
Invasive Hydrilla is Disappearing in Some Texas Lakes
A native of India that first found its way to the U.S. as vegetation for aquariums in the 1950s, hydrilla was abundant in East Texas lakes 20 years ago.

It was a recreational nightmare around boat docks and swim areas where it surfaces and forms thick mats. On the other hand, edges and holes were bass magnets making the plant revered by fishermen. As hydrilla expanded through East Texas, it created some of the best fishing habitat on aging lakes where native vegetation had disappeared.

A tug-of-war developed between fishermen, recreational boaters and property owners over whether the non-native grass should come or go. Local water authorities, and sometimes property owners, had the final say resulting in a variety of approaches using chemical treatments and the release of grass carp. In some cases, it was a 100 percent effort to eliminate the hydrilla. At the urging of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, plans were made to treat around boathouses, boat lanes and more open water, leaving the fish cover where possible.

In recent years, however, something strange happened. Hydrilla began to disappear completely, but not as the result of treatments going awry.  Increased water level is having an impact.

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