Related Information:

Invasive, Prohibited and Exotic Species

The organisms listed here are legally classified as exotic, harmful, or potentially harmful. No person may possess or place them into water of this state except as authorized by the department. Permits are required for any individual to possess, sell, import, export, transport or propagate listed species for zoological or research purposes; for aquaculture (allowed only for Blue, Nile, or Mozambique tilapia, Triploid Grass Carp, or Pacific White Shrimp); or for aquatic weed control (for example, Triploid Grass Carp in private ponds). Permit applications can be found on our website. For information about possession of Mozambique Tilapia for personal use, call the Permits Coordinator at (512) 389-4444. The full text of the regulations can be found in the Texas Administrative Code.

Check our Quick Reference Guide* for illustrations that can help identify these organisms and distinguish them from other species that share similar characteristics.

* This document is an excerpt from the Guide to Identification of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Fishes, Shellfishes and Aquatic Plants Prohibited in Texas [PWD BK T3200-376 (1999).] The complete 370-page book is available as a PDF in our publications section.

Fish | Shellfish | Aquatic Plants


Lampreys, Family Petromyzontidae
All species except Ichthyomyzon castaneus (Chestnut lamprey) and I. gagei (Southern brook lamprey)
Example: Petromyzon marinus (Sea lamprey)
Freshwater Stingrays, Family Potamotrygonidae
All species
Arapaima, Family Arapaimidae
Arapaima gigas
South American Pike Characoids, Family Acestrorhynchidae
All species of genus Acestrorhyncus
African Tiger Fishes, Family Alestiidae
All species of genus Hydrocynus
Piranhas, Family Characidae
All species of genera Catoprion, Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus, Pygopristis, and Serrasalmus
Dogtooth characins (Payara and vampire tetras), Family Cynodontidae
All species of genera Hydrolycus, Rhaphiodon and Cynodon
Dourados, Family Characidae
All species of genus Salminus
South American Tiger Fishes, Family Erythrinidae
All species
South American Pike Characids, Family Ctenoluciidae
All species of genera Ctenolucius and Boulengerella
African Pike and Lute Fishes, Families Hepsetidae and Citharinidae
All species
Electric Eels, Family Electrophoridae
Electrophorus electricus
Carps and Minnows, Family Cyprinidae
All species and hybrids of species of genera:
Aspius, Pseudoaspius, Aspiolucius (Asps);
Abramis, Blicca, Megalobrama, Parabramis (Old World Breams);
Hypophthalmichthys (Bighead carp and Silver carp);
Mylopharyngodon (Black carp);
Ctenopharyngodon (Grass carp) | Learn about using triploid grass carp for vegetation control;
Cirrhinus (Mud and White carp);
Thynnichthys (Sandkhol carp);
Gibelion (Catla);
Leuciscus (European Daces);
Tor and Neolissochilus hexiglonolepsis (Barbs and Mahseers);
Rutilus (Roaches);
Scardinius (Rudds);
Elopichthys (Yellowcheek);
Catlocarpio (Giant Barb);
All species of the genus Labeo except Labeo chrysophekadion (Black sharkminnow)
Walking Catfishes, Family Clariidae
All species
Electric Catfishes, Family Malapteruridae
All species
South American Parasitic Candiru Catfishes, Family Trichomycteridae
All species
Pike Killifish, Family Poeciliidae
Belonesox belizanus
Marine Stonefishes, Family Synanceiidae
All species
Tilapia, Family Cichlidae
All species of genera Tilapia, Oreochromis and Sarotherodon
Examples: Tilapia zillii (Redbelly tilapia), Oreochromis aureus (Blue tilapia), Sarotherodon melanotheron (Blackchin tilapia)
Note: Reclassification of a species does not remove the species from the prohibited list. For example, Tilapia buttikoferi (Zebra Tilapia) is now considered by many to be in the genus Heterotilapia, but is still prohibited.
Asian Pikeheads, Family Osphronemidae
All species of the genus Luciocephalus
Snakeheads, Family Channidae
All species | Learn more about snakeheads
Old World Pike-Perches, Family Percidae
All species of the genus Sander (Pikeperches) except Sander canadensis (Sauger) and S. vitreus (Walleye) and hybrids between those two species
All species of the genus Gymnocephalus (European Ruffes)
Nile Perch, Family Centropomidae (also called Latidae)
All species of genus Lates
Seatrouts and Corvinas, Family Sciaenidae
All species of genus Cynoscion except Cynoscion nebulosus (Spotted seatrout), C. nothus (Silver seatrout), and C. arenarius (Sand seatrout)
Whale Catfishes, Family Cetopsidae
All species
Air sac Catfishes, Family Heteropneustidae
All species
Swamp Eels, Rice Eels or One-Gilled Eels, Family Synbranchidae
All species, including but not limited to Monopterus albus (Asian swamp eel)
Freshwater Eels, Family Anguilliidae
All species except Anguilla rostrata (American eel)
Example: Anguilla anguilla (European eel)
Round Gobies, Family Gobiidae
All species of genus Neogobius, including but not limited to Neogobius melanostomus
Temperate Basses, Family Moronidae
All species except Morone saxatilis (Striped bass), M. chrysops (White bass) and M. mississippiensis (Yellow bass) and hybrids of these three species
Temperate Perches, Family Percichthyidae
All species


Crayfishes, Family Parastacidae
All species, including but not limited to Cherax quadricarinatus (Redclaw crayfish) (PDF)
Mittencrabs, Family Grapsidae
All species of genus Eriocheir, including but not limited to Eriocheir sinensis (Chinese mittencrab)
Applesnails and Giant Ram's-horn Snails, Family Ampullariidae
All species of the genera Marisa and Pomacea, except Pomacea bridgesii (Spiketop applesnail)
Examples: Marisa cornuarietis (Giant rams-horn snail), Pomacea insularum (Island applesnail)
Zebra and Quagga Mussels, Family Dreissenidae
All species of genus Dreissena, including but not limited to Dreissena polymorpha (Zebra mussel)
Penaeid Shrimp, Family Penaeidae
All species of genera Penaeus, Litopenaeus, Farfantepenaeus, Fenneropenaeus, Marsupenaeus, and Melicertus except Litopenaeus setiferus (White shrimp), Farfantepenaeus aztecus (Brown shrimp) and F. duorarum (Pink shrimp)
Example: Penaeus monodon (Asian tiger shrimp)
Oysters, Family Ostreidae
All species except Crassostrea virginica (Eastern oyster) and Ostrea equestris (Crested oyster)

Aquatic Plants

Dotted Duckweed, Family Araceae
Landoltia punctata
Salvinia, Family Salviniaceae
All species of genus Salvinia, including but not limited to Salvinia molesta (Giant salvinia) and Salvinia minima (Common salvinia)
Water Hyacinth, Family Pontederiaceae
Eichhornia crassipes (Floating water hyacinths) and Eichhornia azurea (Rooted water hyacinths)
Waterlettuce, Family Araceae
Pistia stratiotes
Hydrilla, Family Hydrocharitaceae
Hydrilla verticillata | Read more about Hydrilla
Lagarosiphon, Family Hydrocharitaceae
Lagarosiphon major (African elodea, Oxygen-weed) | Read more about Lagarosiphon
Eurasian Watermilfoil, Family Haloragaceae
Myriophyllum spicatum | Read more about Eurasian watermilfoil
Alligatorweed, Family Amaranthaceae
Alternanthera philoxeroides | Read more about Alligatorweed
Paperbark (Melaleuca), Family Myrtaceae
Melaleuca quinquenervia
Torpedograss, Family Poaceae
Panicum repens
Water Spinach, Family Convolvulaceae
Ipomoea aquatica (Ong choy, Rau mong, Kangkong)
Ambulia, Family Plantaginaceae
Limnophila sessiflora (Asian marshweed)
Narrowleaf False Pickerelweed, Family Pontederiaceae
Monochoria hastata
Heartshaped False Pickerelweed, Family Pontederiaceae
Monochoria vaginalis
Duck-lettuce, Family Hydrocharitaceae
Ottelia alismoides
Wetland Nightshade, Family Solanaceae
Solanum tampicense (Aquatic soda apple)
Exotic Bur-reed, Family Typhaceae
Sparganium erectum
Brazilian Peppertree, Family Anacardiaceae
Schinus terebinthifolius
Purple Loosestrife, Family Lythraceae
Lythrum salicaria