SAN ANGELO, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved changes to regulations regarding exotic aquatic species which may make dealing with invasive species easier. Those with waterfront property who need to remove Zebra Mussels from water infrastructure must currently scrape them off into the water or smash them. Under the new rules it will be legal to possess them, and black bag them for transport. Another regulation change aimed at helping West Texas, allows out of state sellers to ship in desired fish species.
“A lot of our pond owners in West Texas want to purchase Grass Carp and Tilapia for their ponds,” explained Lynn Wright, District Fisheries Biologist with TPWD. “To take care of the vegetation and the algae. But a lot of our aquaculture facilities that sell them are in East Texas and they don’t want to deliver that far. This new permit [will] make it a lot easier for the folks to transport fish out to far West Texas”
Yet another change will end up saving waterfront property owners money on permits, when it comes to managing aquatic plants. “Prohibited vegetation species currently require a permit, even just to rake them up onto your yard for disposal or even for composting,” said Monica McGarrity, TPWD Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species Management. “So we’ve made it so that that’s not required anymore. If someone is removing the vegetation they still do have to have treatment methods approved by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, but they don’t have to get that extra permit and pay that fee.”
These new regulations go into effect January 11, 2021. To learn more about the changes visit the TPWD online, or call (512) 389-4800.