City of Austin releases additional 9,000 carp to combat Lake Austin hydrilla problem

In an ongoing effort to gain control in Lake Austin over the rapid spread of a non-native exotic weed, hydrilla, City of Austin officials released 9,000 sterile Asian grass carp off the Mary Quinlan Park dock on May 2.

According to the City of Austin's Watershed Protection Department website, hydrilla can grow up to one inch per day and fish, such as carp, eat the hydrilla as a biological method to control the issue.

"We had five years, from 2005 to 2010, of good control," said Mary Gilroy, an Environmental Scientist with the City of Austin's Watershed Protection and Development Review Department. Gilroy said that in 2011, when the drought caused water levels to drop in Lake Travis which feeds into Lake Austin, the Lake Austin water heated up and produced the warm type of environment which hydrilla thrive on.

Gilroy's office, along with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Lower Colorado River Authority and the citizen group, Friends of Lake Austin, participated in a management plan which periodically stocked the lakes with the carp to keep the hydrilla in check, covering less than 80 acres of Lake Austin.

About 17,000 fish were stocked in Lake Austin in 2012, for a stocking rate of 50 fish per acre of hydrilla, Gilroy said. However, by February of 2013, the hydrilla level in the lake had increased, prompting this month's carp release. The May 2 release is expected to bring the carp stocking rate up by 10 percent, to 55.5 fish per acre of hydrilla.

"We're hoping that this 10 percent increase will be enough to gain control over the hydrilla," Gilroy said. "But [the hydrilla are] living organisms and we can't predict the outcome."

Gilroy said that the hydrilla currently covers 600 acres of Lake Austin.



MOST RECENT

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

Photo of Austin Community College pharmacy students preparing vaccines
Austin Public Health ramps up COVID-19 booster shot offerings, prepares for pediatric vaccines

High-risk individuals who received Pfizer are Moderna doses six months ago or more are now eligible for boosters—as are most recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey briefed City Council on Austin's spending of more than $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding on homelessness Oct. 21. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials share outlook of 3-year plan to house 3,000 homeless people in Austin

Although the path to build more than 1,000 new spaces for those without shelter will take time, officials believe the goals are achievable.

Photo off APD sign
Austin police cadet academy review notes positive strides but says instructors lack buy-in to 'reimagined' concept

Reforms at the Austin Police Department academy are mixed so far, while the department and outside evaluators agree on several potential improvements going forward.

Sade Fashokun was sworn in as a Leander ISD trustee Oct. 21. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Sade Fashokun sworn in to Leander ISD board

Fashokun has served in PTA leadership, on the School Health Advisory Committee and on the Bond Oversight Committee, according to the district. 

Cumby Group is planning development for three adjacent multifamily projects on Manor Road in East Austin, including The Emma apartments. (Courtesy Cumby Group)
3 years in, Austin is falling behind on goals in affordable housing plan

From 2018-20, the city only reached 12% of its 10-year goal to build thousands of new homes and rental units.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Home construction in the Sweetwater community continues. New homes entering the market have yet to create a balanced market, according to ABoR. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
As pace of homes sold in west Travis County slows, prices remain higher than the overall metro area

The number of September homes sold in the Lake Travis-Westlake area dropped 30.7% from a year earlier.

Lake Travis ISD trustees Oct. 20 approved communication standards with other area law enforcement. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD Police Department formalizes communication, coordination with other local police entities

The Lake Travis ISD Police Department is working to educate and integrate into the community.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.