Ways to Help Prevent the Spread of Nuisance Aquatic Plants and Animals
Aquatic nuisance plants and animals (such as hydrilla, golden alga, zebra mussel, and other organisms) could cause ecological harm if released, or introduced into our streams and reservoirs. To prevent (or at least minimize) the spread of nuisance aquatic plants and animals please follow these general recommendations:
- Visually inspect your boat and equipment (including trailer, diving, boating, recreational and fishing equipment) for any attached plants or animals and remove them.
- Drain all live wells, motors, transom wells, and bilges on land before leaving the lake.
- Wash and flush all areas of your boat and trailer, including live wells, bilges, trailer runners, etc. with clean fresh water to remove any nuisance species.
- Empty your bait bucket on land before leaving the lake. Never release live bait into a water body.
- Never release animals or plants taken from one water body into another.
- Report unusual animals or plants (including mussels) to your local Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist.
- Report dead or dying fish and wildlife to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by calling one of the 24 Hour Communications Centers (512-389-4848 or 281-842-8100), one of the Kills and Spills Team biologists or your local Game Warden.
Whenever possible, these additional general recommendations from the Sea
Grant Boat Cleaning Tips should also be followed:
Dry your boat and equipment to kill harmful species that were not seen at the boat launch. Some species can survive several days out of water, so it is important to:
- Rinse your boat and equipment with hot tap water (>40 deg C, >104 deg F); or
- Spray your boat and equipment with high pressure water (250 psi); or
- Dry your boat and equipment for at least five days, before transporting to another water body.
Other Recommendations to Prevent the Spread of Diseases like Largemouth Bass Virus:
- Thoroughly clean and dry livewells, boats, trailers, and other equipment between trips.
- Treat livewells with 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Make sure that contact time with bleach is at least 5 minutes.
- Drain and rinse out livewells after bleach treatment. (Note: NEVER rinse or dump water with bleach residue into ANY waterbody.)
Would you like to know more?
The Biology of Golden Alga summarizes what we know about the alga and its toxins.
Where does golden alga fit compared to other single-celled organisms?
The Golden Alga Family Tree gives examples of and information about golden alga and other protists.
What does golden alga look like?
TPWD Golden Alga Images has photos of fish kills, golden algal cells, and short videos of live golden alga. These images may be used for noncommercial/educational purposes as long as TPWD is given credit and other site policies are followed.
Golden Alga Information Card: TPWD has collaborated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and other entities to produce a golden alga information card. Download a PDF from the TCEQ website or request a free hard copy from TPWD at firstname.lastname@example.org.