Exotic and Invasive Species
A Threat to Texas Waterways
Fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants that are not native to Texas may compete with native animals and plants for food and space. Because introduced species lack natural enemies in their new environment, they can multiply and spread at an alarming rate, interfering with boat traffic, affecting water quality, and causing a range of other problems.
In order to manage and conserve our natural resources, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department enforces laws to protect our state waters against the introduction of exotic species. Some exotics, such as triploid grass carp and water spinach, may be handled and distributed by people who have the appropriate permits from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Others are so dangerous that we need to do everything we can to stop them from spreading. Get complete list of prohibited aquatic organisms.
Exotics often travel from one water body to another by "hitching a ride" on a watercraft. To curb the spread of invasive species, boaters in Texas are required by law to remove harmful plants and animals from boats and trailers before leaving the vicinity of a lake, river, or bay. Learn how to properly clean your recreational equipment .
Here are two of our biggest threats:
Giant Salvinia. Spotted in several East Texas lakes. An infestation can double its size in just one week.
Zebra Mussel, now found in Lake Texoma. Learn how to prevent the spread of this dangerous invader.