Invasive Species of Fish & Aquatic Plants in Texas

The eco-system is a balance on land and in the sea. When this balance is disturbed too much, it can cause devastation to the entire system and to the people that live in that area. The biggest trouble that Texas has seen is due to some invasive species that are not native to Texas at all. The problem when a new species starts to be introduced into an eco-system that is new, is that it has no enemies and will be able to take over and populate the area to the detriment of the rest of the balance. Not only will it over populate but it can cause a host of other problems that include eliminating species that are native to the area and to the waterways themselves.

How are new species introduced into a particular Eco-system? The most common way that non-native species are introduced into an area is by riding in on a water craft such as a boat. If a boat is being brought into a waterway in the state of Texas, the boat owner is required by law to remove any and all plants and animals that may be attached to the boat prior to entering the water. There are different techniques that can be used to eliminate any hitchhikers that you may have.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Threats To Texas Water Ways?
Zebra Mussels: A zebra mussel is an invasive species which is usually found attached to the underside of a boat, trailer or even on the dock. They only get about 1.5 inches and have a striped pattern that makes them look like a zebra. The mussel can produce larva in the millions and they can in turn cause damage to your equipment and disrupt the water and sicken the wildlife. Locals are asked to call in any boaters that are not removing the mussels and hence contaminating the other boats and wildlife.
Giant Salvinia: This is an invasive plant! It may seem odd to assume that plant life can cause trouble but it can, and this particular plant can double in size in just one week! This plant, because of how fast it grows takes over the other plants and stop them from growing. The invasive plant is not a natural food source and nesting area for many birds and sea life. If the plants that sustain their life no longer exist, the animals leave.
Lionfish: This is a fairly new invasive species that has shown up to the state of Texas in 2011. It was first found in Florida in 1985 and has slowly shown up across the coast over the last few years. The lionfish is a large fish that can get up to 17 inches in length. They are beautiful but be careful since they are very venomous! They are a pretty aggressive species and they have the ability to produce at a high rate.

Help Texas Heritage Protection keep these invasive species at bay!