Klein, Texas (AFP) – Underwater invasive weeds in a central Texas lake are notorious for fishermen, screeching boat propellers and threatening fish.
Weed is an aquatic plant that was initially imported and sold as an aquarium plant in the 1950s and has become one of the most invasive plants in the world. Fishing guide Bob Mindell says its presence is at an all-time high at Stillhouse Hollow, about 13 miles southeast of Killeen.
Mindell recently wrote in the Killeen Daily Herald: “So many hydrilla plants have now grown in Steelhouse that entire bays are now completely inaccessible to boat fishermen because the tangled plants intertwine with propellers of outboard motors and electric trolling motors, prohibiting access to them.”
Plants are spread by unclean boats and form thick mats on water surfaces, altering pH levels, stripping them of oxygen, restricting the growth of native plants, blocking nutrients for aquatic animals, and impeding irrigation, recreation and water flow, according to the Texas Invasive Species Institute.
Furthermore, it can harm water quality and promote the growth of toxic blue-green algae. This algae has been linked to the sudden death of dogs in nearby Lake Belton.