AUSTIN -- The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has finally won the battle against an invasive and aggressive plant found in Lake Austin.
According to a survey by the department, the growth of the plant hydrilla is finally under control after first appearing in 1999. In February of 2013 hydrilla covered more than 600 acres of the water source, impacting floods, water intakes and lake recreation. In June 2013 there were 330 acres of hydrilla in Lake Austin.
Over the past year officials placed sterile Asian grass carp into the lake to battle the plant. This species of fish eat mainly hydrilla.
Since hydrilla has been eliminated, TPWD says a less aggressive plant known as milfoil has expanded in a positive way. Milfoil has many benefits for fish and wildlife. It also helps maintain water quality and enhance fishing opportunities in the area.
The City of Austin and TPWD will continue to monitor Lake Austin. They say hydrilla could likely come back when the carp population declines.
Officials say hydrilla showed up in Lake Austin 14 years ago when someone dumped their aquarium into the water.
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