Edwards Aquifer Authority takes action following reports of growing parasite problem in San Marcos and Comal rivers

Through a partnership with the city of New Braunfels, the Edwards Aquifer Authority  will examine concentrations of the parasite in the Comal River system. n

Through a partnership with the city of New Braunfels, the Edwards Aquifer Authority will examine concentrations of the parasite in the Comal River system. n

The Edwards Aquifer Authority is responding to reports of a growing parasite problem with a plan to survey the situation in the Comal River.

Community Impact Newspaper in July published a report about how a parasite named Haplorchis pumilio is threatening fish, such as the endangered fountain darter, in the San Marcos and Comal rivers.

Carried by an invasive Asian snail, the larvae of the parasite penetrate the skin of the fish, causing trauma and inflammation that affects their ability to swim.

Now, through a partnership with the city of New Braunfels, the aquifer authority will examine concentrations of the parasite in the Comal River system.

Michael De La Garza, the senior director of communications and development for the EAA, said no such study has yet been planned for the San Marcos River system.

“Additionally, we have instructed our partners at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide us with the costs to examine wild caught fountain darters for Haplorchis as part of annual routine fish health screening,” De La Garza wrote in an email.

Population surveys have been conducted of the endangered fish in both rivers for 20 years as part of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan, but the aquifer authority had not specifically monitored the presence of Haplorchis.

De La Garza said the conservation plan includes methods in place to collect data on fountain darter populations in the San Marcos and Comal rivers.

“Our biological monitoring has shown no drop off in fountain darter populations,” he added.

Researchers at Texas State University, including parasitologist David Huffman and graduate student Allison Scott, had expressed concerns about the long term effects of Haplorchis on local fish populations.

“I think the prudent thing to do is to establish a monitoring program to keep track of this and develop some experiments with snail removal or something so that when a drought comes, we'll be ready for it, instead of walking out there one day and seeing that almost all the fish are dead,” Huffman said in May.


MOST RECENT

The future location on South Congress Avenue would be the third located in the South Austin area. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
P. Terry's plans for S. Congress drive-thru and more Austin-area news

Read the latest Austin-area business and community news.

The New Braunfels Smokehouse Restaurant opened in 1952. (Courtesy New Braunfels Smokehouse)
New Braunfels Smokehouse closes restaurant; production facility still open

The business closed its local restaurant Aug. 7, but the production plant remains open.

(Courtesy AMC Theatres)
AMC Theatres to reopen Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets

AMC Theatres—which has multiple locations in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—will begin reopening its movie screens Aug. 20.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

The University of Texas will host football games at Darrell K. Royal Veterans Memorial Stadium this fall after an announcement from the Big 12 Conference on Aug. 12 that the fall sports season will continue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Big Ten and PAC-12 cancel, Big 12 announces fall sports season will roll on

The conference football season will begin Sept. 26, and fan capacity in stadiums will be up to each of the 10 member universities, according to the Big 12.

New Braunfels City Council approved a jump in acreage of its Reinvestment Zone Number One during its Aug. 10 meeting. (Screen shot courtesy city of New Braunfels)
Planned fire station, training facilities to be moved to larger land parcel within New Braunfels

A planned fire station and training facility in New Braunfels is en route to be moved to another location after officials established a roughly 35-acre tract that has been deemed a more suitable location.

New Braunfels City Council met Aug. 10 and approved a grant for $85,000 to help create and retain 40 jobs in the city. (Screen shot courtesy city of New Braunfels)
New Braunfels officials greenlight program to create, retain 40 full-time jobs

A program approved by New Braunfels City Council will offer an $85,000 investment to provide financial incentives to United Training Center LLC.

Courtesy Resolute Health Hospital
Resolute Health Hospital in New Braunfels to expand visitation allowances

Patients at Resolute Health Hospital, located at 555 Creekside Crossing, New Braunfels, are now allowed one visitor due to an adjusted visitation policy that went in place Aug. 11.

The office of public health will extend its hours through lunch to provide adults and children with vaccines ahead of the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Comal County Office of Public Health to offer back-to-school vaccines

Eligible adults and children can receive low- or no-cost immunizations through the office of public health.

Retailer Harbor Freight Tools will open a Georgetown location Aug. 11. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harbor Freight Tools coming to Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.