Managing nuisance aquatic plants

WATER HYACINTH (photo credit: Paul Skawinski) 
EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL (photo credit: Alison Fox, University of Florida) 

Invasive aquatic plants such as hydrilla, water hyacinth and Eurasian watermilfoil are sometimes found in the Highland Lakes.

LCRA manages hydrilla and water hyacinth on the Highland Lakes because these plants have the potential for the most impact to LCRA operations and customers. If you see hydrilla or water hyacinth in the Highland Lakes, please contact LCRA.

Nuisance aquatic vegetation control options

The local plan to address Eurasian watermilfoil in lakes Inks, LBJ and Marble Falls is no longer in effect. In 2014, LCRA and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department implemented the plan, which included treatment zones. By 2017, Eurasian watermilfoil had been controlled. If Eurasian watermilfoil returns to nuisance levels, the plan may be reinstated.

If you are planning to manually or chemically control any native or invasive plants that grow in public waterways, submit the following to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at and LCRA at

  1. Treatment proposal form (on page 10)
  2. Map of the proposed treatment area
  3. Photographs of the plant and the problem it is causing

Do not proceed without TPWD approval. LCRA receives the treatment proposals for informational purposes only.

Depending on the chemical used, lake water in the vicinity of the treatment should not be used for irrigation or potable purposes for approximately one week after treatment.

Learn about aquatic herbicide testing, toxicity and EPA registration.

Have questions about Lake Austin or Lady Bird Lake? Contact the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department.

Help minimize growth and spread of invasive plants

  • Clean, drain and dry your boats when entering or leaving a lake to avoid transporting non-native species.
  • Reduce or eliminate fertilization on lakeside properties.
  • Plant native vegetation buffer strips along the lakeshore to filter the nutrients from rainfall or irrigation runoff coming from lawns.
  • Don't let grass clippings and leaves get into the lake.
  • Clean up pet waste.
  • Make sure septic systems are properly maintained.

Learn more about how to keep the lakes clean, not green.



Native plants Cabomba, Coontail and Water stargrass also can become abundant in the Highland Lakes and Colorado River. Treatment is not recommended for these native plants, as they provide important habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.


Learn more about TPWD Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation Management.
Read Aquatic Vegetation Management in Texas: A Guidance Document.