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Uploaded on Jan 19, 2012

The Watershed Protection Department released 6,000 sterile Asian grass carp into Lake Austin on December 20 as part of the ongoing effort to control the invasive, exotic weed hydrilla.

For several years, hydrilla covered less than 80 acres of Lake Austin. During 2011, hydrilla reached a historic high of over 500 acres as of this September, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department vegetation survey.

This increase is likely due to the ongoing drought, which has created conditions favorable to hydrilla over other aquatic vegetation. In particular, much warmer water is flowing into Lake Austin from drought-stricken Lake Travis, and hydrilla prefers warmer temperatures. Sterile Asian grass carp have been periodically stocked in Lake Austin since 2003 as a critical component of the integrated hydrilla management plan. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has approved the City's stocking permit, and is sharing the cost of the fish with the City.

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