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TPWD to reduce hydrilla and pond grass in Lake Pflugerville

Post Date:10/01/2018 11:15 AM
After conducting thorough reviews of Lake Pflugerville and monitoring its vegetation growth, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) approved use of an environmentally-approved chemical treatment to help reduce the presence of hydrilla and pond grasses in the lake. TPWD will begin this new technique the week of October 1.

“Since Lake Pflugerville is our water supply, we monitor it very closely to ensure that any vegetation removal is conducted in partnership with our regional environmental partners,” Interim Public Works Director Brian McDougal said. “Working together, we can maintain the beneficial characteristics of the hydrilla and pond grass vegetation and balance with the recreational expectations of lake visitors.”

In 2011, the city released 900 sterile (triploid) grass carp into the lake after a September 2010 Aquatic Vegetation Assessment for Pflugerville Reservoir was conducted by TPWD showing that hydrilla had become a predominant aquatic plant species in the lake. Since then, the city has worked closely with the TPWD to gauge the growth of hydrilla and pond grasses while also monitoring the impact of the carp in the lake.

The September 2011 report indicated a 63% hydrilla coverage in Lake Pflugerville, and the 2018 number indicates a 71% vegetation coverage; therefore, despite the efforts of the grass carp, the vegetation coverage remains high. Based on a standard gauge of 5 carp per acre or less of hydrilla, the city was approved to use the chemical Procella COR ™ SC, a selective herbicide safe for use in a water supply lake.

“TPWD regularly works with reservoir controlling authorities to develop treatment measures when nuisance aquatic vegetation directly affects the health and recreational use of fish and wildlife resources,” said John Findeisen, TPWD Aquatic Invasive Species team lead. “Because hydrilla at Lake Pflugerville has exceeded beneficial levels we are helping the city to implement safe, herbicide-based control measures to help limit adverse impacts of hydrilla on fishing and boating access.”

“The herbicide Procella COR ™ SC has recently been approved by the EPA for use in aquatic ecosystems,” Findeisen added. “In fact, EPA labeled it as a reduced risk herbicide, meaning it poses less risk to human and environmental health as compared to alternative herbicides. Additionally, the label states there are no restrictions for recreational uses such as fishing and swimming. ”

Because hydrilla can out-compete native aquatic species, interfere with recreational use and interfere with water discharge into the water treatment plant, the city is proceeding with the recommended technique. If you have questions about the treatment, please call the City of Pflugerville Public Works Department at 512-990-6400.