The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ( TPWD ) reminds hunters across the state to join the fight against the spread of aquatic invasive species like giant salvinia and zebra mussels as they begin preparing their gear and boats for opening day. Waterfowl season is approaching.
In order to stop the spread of watery aggressive species, hunting are essential. Before moving from lake to lake, hunters help prevent these varieties from settling in fresh habitats by taking a few minutes to wash, drain, and clean their boats and products, including decoys and other hunting equipment.
Aquatic invasive species are simply moved to other rivers after becoming trapped or trapped on vessels and boat trailers.
One of Texas’s most challenging aquatic invasive plants, giant salvinia, is double in size and land in less than a week, making it difficult for boats to access. It is essential for boaters to clear, drain, and clean their boats and equipment because even a small piece of big salvinia or other aquatic invasive plants can spread an infestation.
According to John Findeisen, TPWD Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Team Lead, Giant salvinia is frequently thought of as a flower that restricts outdoor access for fishermen and boaters, but it can also pose serious issues for waterfowl hunters. It can transcend and change the native plants that waterfowl rely on for food and habitat, in addition to creating heavy mats that restrict hunters ‘ access to key areas where they can hunt.
Zebra and quagga oysters are two additional significant invasive species challenges in Texas. Zebra clams can now be found in creek reaches river of infested lakes as well as 36 Texas lakes spread across seven river basins.
These invaders have the potential to harm aquatic life, leave strong shells on shorelines, harm boats, clog water intakes, and cause expensive water supply and control infrastructure damage. The microscopic caterpillars of aggressive mussels can be transported in remaining liquid by boats and equipment, and they can travel to new lakes when they are attached to plants or boats.
According to Monica McGarrity, TPWD Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species, waterfowl hunters can prevent aggressive mussels and aquatic vegetation from spreading and harming more lakes by removing plants and particles from boats, draining the lake before leaving, and allowing everyone to dry completely before moving on. ” Taking just a few minutes for these straightforward actions may help reduce impacts on communities, infrastructure, and recreation. It can also significantly improve our efforts to protect and maintain Texas lakes for both present and future generations.”
Hunters should clean, drain, and dry their boats and trailers in addition to making sure they are n’t unintentionally carrying invasive species on various tools like waders, deception bags, marsh rollers and other equipment by doing the same. On the TPWD YouTube Channel, you can find a picture to teach hunting how to effectively clear, discharge, and clean.
In addition to the damage that invasive species can do to lakes ‘ recreational areas, water infrastructure, and aquatic communities, boats may also face legal repercussions as a result of their transportation.
In Texas, it is against the law to transport aquatic invasive species that are prohibited, and doing so can result in a$ 500 fine. Before leaving or approaching a body of new water, paddlers are required by law to discharge all waters from their boat and crew receptacles, including fish containers. Before leaving a lakes, they may also get rid of all invasive vegetation from the boat, truck, and truck vehicle.
Anyone who discovers invasive species in Texas lakes that have n’t previously been reported or who spots them on moving boats, trailers, or equipment can assist in identifying and preventing new introductions by reporting the sighting to TPWD right away at ( 512 ) 389-4848 or by emailing photos and location details for new invasions to [email protected].
Visit tpwd to find out more about large salvinia, horse clams, and other invasive varieties in Texas. Texas. StopInvasives by Gov.