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TPWD News Release — June 3, 2010

Aquatic Plant Management Symposium at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center June 19

ATHENS—The two questions most often asked by pond owners are “What’s that stuff growing in my pond?” and “How do I control it?”

Those questions and more will be addressed at the Aquatic Plant Management Symposium at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens on June 19. The symposium will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Preregistration is encouraged; the $20 fee includes a barbecue lunch. To register call (903) 676-2277. All registration fees will be collected at the door; only cash or checks will be accepted.

For the most part both public impoundments and private ponds in Texas are created, not natural, and most therefore do not have native aquatic vegetation. Exotic vegetation often invades and can hamper access, impede boating and create unsafe conditions for swimming.

The symposium will feature presentations on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) statewide aquatic plant management plan, Lake Athens aquatic plant control rules, and a case study of aquatic plant management on Lake Conroe.

Dr. Michael Masser of Texas A&M University will speak on management of aquatic weeds in private lakes, and TPWD fisheries biologists Dr. Richard Ott and Mark Webb will present information on native vegetation that can be planted to provide habitat for fish, improve water quality and help crowd out invasive species. Webb will also talk about controlling noxious plants.

A tour of a native aquatic plant nursery recently established at TFFC will show attendees how they can grow their own aquatic plants for planting into ponds.

Pond owners may bring samples of plants from their pond in waterproof plastic bags for identification and control recommendations.

The symposium is sponsored by the Lake Athens Property Owners Association (LAPOA), which is donating the proceeds from registration to TFFC’s annual Bluegill Family Fishing Tournament. “People need to be aware of what are good weeds and what are bad weeds,” said Bob Bushnell, LAPOA president. “Our purpose is to improve the well-being of the lake community, but we know that many ranchers and private pond owners are also interested in learning about weeds and how to deal with them.”

The symposium will be held in the Hart-Morris Conservation Center at TFFC. For directions visit or call (903) 676-2277.

Please note that entry to the Hart-Morris Conservation Center is NOT through TFFC’s main entrance. Instead, when approaching TFFC heading east on F.M. 2495, turn right onto Peninsula Point Rd., the second street after crossing the bridge over Lake Athens. Follow Peninsula Point Rd. (also known as CR 4812) for 0.2 mile to Gate E on your left. Enter Gate E and park in the lot surrounding the Conservation Center.