Aquatic ecosystems include some of the most imperiled species in the United States and invasive species are the second leading contributor to this problem. Research plays a critical role in guiding effective, science-based monitoring and management of aquatic invasive species. Below is a short description of ongoing and past research projects funded by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For more information on the invasive species studied in these projects and other aquatic invasive species in Texas, visit texasinvasives.org.
The application period is closed for the FY24-25 AIS Research Grants. Please check back here or on the TPWD grants page in Spring 2025 (approximately April 1st) for the next request for proposals for FY26-27.
Ongoing Aquatic Invasive Species Research
Developing spawning protocols and identifying the sex determining regions in suckermouth armored catfish to facilitate the production of neofemales and YY males for use in population control
Texas A&M University
This project seeks to develop genomic resources for invasive suckermouth armored catfish to facilitate production of YY males for use in genetic/biological population control. This project will also begin to test protocols for spawning these species and beginning the process of feminizing males. This work will contribute to furthering efforts to control these invasive species.
Assessing seasonal variation in thermal refugia use and drivers of angler participation in removal efforts of suckermouth armored catfish in San Felipe Creek, Val Verde County
University of Texas at San Antonio
This study will evaluate use of thermal refuges (e.g., springs) by suckermouth armored catfish during winter months to increase survival. Locating aggregations of this invasive species can aid in enhancing removal efforts. This study will also examine angler interest in participating in removal tournaments, including any seasonal differences in willingness to participate. This work will aid in enhancing ongoing removal efforts.
Distribution of the Australian redclaw crayfish in Texas
University of Texas at Tyler
Invasive Australian redclaw crayfish have become established in South Texas, but little is known of their distribution. This study will evaluate distribution of this species in Texas as well as abundance and life-history traits. This work is an important step toward better understanding this invasion as well as facilitating potential future assessments of impacts on native species.