Related Information:

Prohibited/Controlled Exotic Species

The organisms listed below are legally classified as exotic, harmful, or potentially harmful. (view list as printable PDF) No person may possess or place them into water of this state except as authorized by the department. Permits may be issued allowing individuals to possess, sell, import, export, transport or propagate listed species for zoological or research purposes; for aquaculture (allowed only for Blue, Nile, Mozambique, or Wami 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 tilapia for pond stocking or non-commercial aquaponics, contact the Permits Coordinator at Coordinator at or (512) 389-4742. 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. Note that the list of prohibited exotic species has changed since this guide was published and not all species are included and scientific classification has changed for others.

Fish | Shellfish | Aquatic Plants


Air sac catfishes, Family Heteropneustidae
All species
African Lute Fishes, Family Citharinidae, subfamily Distichodontinae
All species of genera Belonophago, Euganthichthys, Ichthyborus, Mesoborus, Phago, and Paraphago
African Pike Fishes, Family Hepsetidae
All species
African Tiger Fishes, Family Alestiidae
All species of genus Hydrocynus
Arapaima, Family Osteoglossidae
Arapaima gigas (Arapaima)
Asian Pikeheads, Family Osphronemidae
All species of the genus Luciocephalus
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, silver, and largescale carp);
Mylopharyngodon (black carp);
Ctenopharyngodon (grass carp) | Learn about using triploid grass carp for vegetation control;
Cirrhinus, Thynnichthys, and Gibelion (catla);
Leuciscus (European daces);
Tor and Neolissochilus (barbs and mahseers);
Rutilus (roaches);
Scardinius (rudds);
Elopichthys (yellowcheek);
Catlocarpio (giant barb);
Labeo (sharkminnows) except Labeo chrysophekadion (black sharkminnow)
Pseudorasbora parva (stone moroko)
Dogtooth characins (Payara and vampire tetras), Family Cynodontidae
All species of genera Hydrolycus, Rhaphiodon and Cynodon
Dourados, Family Characidae
All species of genus Salminus
Electric Eels, Family Electrophoridae
Electrophorus electricus
Electric Catfishes, Family Malapteruridae
All species
European and Asian catfishes, Family Siluridae
Silurus glanis (Wels catfish)
Freshwater Eels, Family Anguilliidae
All species except Anguilla rostrata (American eel)
Freshwater Sleepers, Family Odontobutidae
Percottus glenii (Amur sleeper)
Freshwater Stingrays, Family Potamotrygonidae
All species
Lampreys, Family Petromyzontidae
All species except Ichthyomyzon castaneus (chestnut lamprey) and I. gagei (Southern brook lamprey)
Marine Stonefishes, Family Scorpaenidae
All species of genera Choridactylus, Dampierosa, Erosa, Inimicus, Leptosynanceia, Minous, Pseudosynanceia, Synanceia, and Trachicephalus
Nile Perch, Family Centropomidae
All species of genus Lates
Pike Killifish, Family Poeciliidae
Belonesox belizanus
Perch, 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)
Perca fluviatilis (European perch, also called redfin)
Piranhas, Family Characidae
All species of genera Catoprion, Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus, Pygopristis, and Serrasalmus (closely related Dorados also prohibited; see above)
Round Gobies, Family Gobiidae
All species of genus Neogobius
Seatrouts and Corvinas, Family Sciaenidae
All species of genus Cynoscion except Cynoscion nebulosus (spotted seatrout), C. nothus (silver seatrout), and C. arenarius (sand seatrout)
Snakeheads, Family Channidae
All species | Learn more about snakeheads
South American Parasitic Candiru Catfishes, Family Trichomycteridae
All species
South American Pike Characids, Family Ctenoluciidae
All species of genera Ctenolucius and Boulengerella
South American Pike Characoids, Family Acestrorhynchidae
All species of genus Acestrorhyncus
Swamp Eels, Rice Eels or One-Gilled Eels, Family Synbranchidae
All species
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
Tilapia, Family Cichlidae
All species of genera Coelotilapia, Coptodon, Heterotilapia, Oreochromis, Pelmatolapia, Sarotherodon, and Tilapia
Trahiras or South American Tiger Fishes, Family Erythrinidae
All species
Walking Catfishes, Family Clariidae
All species
Whale Catfishes, Family Cetopsidae
All species


Applesnails, Family Ampullariidae
All species of the genus Pomacea, except Pomacea bridgesii (spiketop applesnail)
Giant Ram's-horn Snails, Family Ampullariidae
All species of genus Marisa
Mittencrabs, Family Varunidae
All species of genus Eriocheir
Mudsnails, Family Hydrobiidae
All species
Mussels, Family Mytilidae
Limnoperna fortunei (golden mussel)
Oysters, Family Ostreidae
All species except Crassostrea rhizophorae (mangrove oyster), C. virginica (Eastern oyster), Dendostrea frons (frond oyster), Ostrea stentina (dwarf oyster), and O. permollis (sponge oyster)
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)
Southern hemisphere freshwater crayfishes, including redclaw crayfish, Family Parastacidae
All species
Zebra and Quagga Mussels, Family Dreissenidae
All species of genus Dreissena

Aquatic Plants

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