TWPD announces hydrilla treatment plan
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones Managing Editor
For area residents who have been complaining about the growth of hydrilla in Houston County Lake, relief is on the way. Mark Webb of Texas Parks and Wildlife Fisheries District 3-E, TPWD East Texas Fisheries Program Director-Tyler and Dr. Earl Chilton, Habitat Program Director-Austin, recently met with a group of Golden Acres residents about the hydrilla problem. Tex Terry, director of the Houston County Water District, opened the meeting. As part of the Houston County Lake Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Hydrilla Control Plan, TWPD will treat approximately 500 acres of hydrilla using Sonar One herbicide this spring. TPWD will purchase the herbicide and apply the treatment. Also this year, TWPD will stock Houston County Lake with 1,000 triploid (sterile) grass carp at a rate of two per acre of hydrilla tubers. TWPD will survey the Houston County Lake plant community in late summer-early fall of this year. Sometime in the near future, depending on the weather, TWPD will begin to add the grass carp. The fish will weigh about two pounds each and will not reproduce. About one-third of the fish are expected to expire each year, according to information provided at the meeting. The presentation explained hydrilla is a plant that is native to Asia, grows up to one inch per day, spreads easily from fragments and produces tubers that can last for years. Hydrilla has been present in Houston County Lake for years, according to the presentation, and is probably expanding in response to increased run-off from septic systems, lawn fertilizer, etc. Residents were advised not to water their lawns or gardens by pumping lake water until the end of May. It was also suggested at the meeting that the community should consider adding additional non-invasive aquatic plants for fish habitat. Additionally, those attending the presentation were urged to organize an advisory committee to meet with and provide input to the Houston County Water Board and TPWD regarding future habitat management. It was suggested the committee include home owners, anglers and other interested citizens.