Hydrilla plant gone from Lake Austin

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by KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on October 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 8:20 PM

AUSTIN -- The city is touting its efforts to remove hydrilla from Lake Austin, but not everyone is pleased with the reduction of the exotic plant.

The City of Austin previously stated that the plant, which threatens water intakes, recreation and navigation on the lake, was out of control. It was even named as a reason that some homes flooded in July of 2002.

Hydrilla covered more than 600 acres on Lake Austin in February, which was minimized to 330 acres in June. A recent survey from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the plant is gone completely.

The city said successful control is a result of stocking the lake with Asian Grass Carp, which eats the plant. They claim the carp don't eat milfoil, which is aquatic vegetation still in the lake.

However, some boaters were concerned.

"There's still some milfoil left, but I don't think the milfoil that's there is going to be enough to keep the water clarity, where it's going to be a nice looking lake and not a mud pit," said Richard Edwards. "There's been other lakes in the past, where they've overstocked carp, wiped out all of the aquatic vegetation, and water clarity suffers."

Edwards said that he could previously see the bottom of the lake in 15 feet of water. Now, he can't see the bottom in 15 inches.

Some fishers also said they miss the hydrilla -- bait fish reproduced there and would bring the big fish around.

The city said the hydrilla will coem back, but they will work to keep it at bay.

 

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