We have an update to the Hydrilla problem in Lake Austin. Two months ago 9,000 carp were released into the lake to help control the invasive weed.
“We want to see something between 20 percent and 40 percent of the entire lake with aquatic vegetation. That’s a healthy system for fishing. In this case we’re about 30 percent right now, that’s excellent,” says Marcos De Jesus, fisheries management biologist with TPWD.
In May Hydrilla covered 600 acres of Lake Austin, now it covers close to 300 acres. There are pros and cons to the weed. It can get stuck in the motors of the boats and create hazardous swimming conditions, however it creates a good habitat for fish, bringing anglers nationwide to Austin to catch trophy fish.
De Jesus says it’s about balancing the amount of Hyrdilla in the lake to keep everyone happy. TPWD has been stocking Lake Austin with sterile carp since 2003. In that time they have released 48,000 fish. At $8 to $10 per fish, that’s nearly a half a million dollars that’s gone into controlling Hydrilla.
For now, De Jesus says TPWD will not be releasing any more carp and will let the fish continue to do their job and eat the Hydrilla.