creek side covered by dense Arundo thicket

Initiatives for Arundo Control

Arundo donax, commonly called Arundo, giant reed, or carrizo cane, is a highly invasive, non-native grass with the potential to significantly damage the health of streams and rivers by affecting water quality and quantity, worsening flooding, displacing native plants, destabilizing banks, contributing to erosion, increasing fire risk, and harboring cattle ticks and other invasive species such as feral hogs.

Targeted, aquatic-approved herbicide application is used to gain control of significant Arundo infestations. This control method has the least impact on the stream ecosystem and is currently being provided at no cost to landowners in priority areas. Our ultimate goal is to help restore healthy stream function and improve habitats beside and within the creeks. These measures will benefit our state fish, Guadalupe Bass, found only in the Hill Country.

Healthy Creeks Initiative

Through the Healthy Creeks Initiative, TPWD partners with government entities, nonprofit organizations, volunteers, and private landowners to implement large-scale management of Arundo on Hill Country rivers and streams (see the Healthy Creeks Initiative project map).

The initiative began in 2015 as a pilot project, and by the end of 2021 has grown to include more than 350 participating landowners in five watersheds spanning seven Texas counties and 250 miles of rivers and streams.

 

Series of three photos showing creek before and after Arundo treatment
Successful Arundo control leads to restoration of native plants and healthy creeks

Get Involved!

Landowner participation is essential to maximizing the success of this project. For more information on how landowners can help or receive no-cost Arundo control, download the Healthy Creeks Initiative information packet.

Check out this recording of our “Getting to Know the Healthy Creeks Initiative” webinar on YouTube.

Contact Us

healthycreeks@tpwd.texas.gov or 512-289-2740

Pull. Kill. Plant.

Since 2010, the Pull.Kill.Plant. initiative has been a model for successful management of Arundo through building partnerships with riverside landowners. This project is active along the Frio, Dry Frio, Sabinal, Nueces and Leona rivers in Frio, Real, Uvalde, and Zavala counties. The Nueces River Authority leads the project, with support from TPWD.

In 2021, NRA’s Pull Kill Plant program began a new project to manage Arundo along San Felipe Creek in the city of Del Rio.  The first step toward success involved outreach and communication with downstream landowners, city staff, and citizen groups.  Treatments were conducted on 6.5 acres of Arundo on city-owned land and several private properties.  With continued support from TPWD in 2022, this project is anticipated to expand treatments and provide additional outreach to city staff, community groups, and landowners.

Arundo Control Man

Arundo Control Man superhero promotes spreading the word, not the problem.

Lessons from Arundo Control Man is a training program for Texans working in construction, road or park maintenance, landscaping, ranchland management, and anyone else who may encounter this plant.

Learn More

Learn more about aquatic invasive species at TexasInvasives.org.