Managing nuisance aquatic plants

​​​​Invasive plants in the Highland ​Lakes and lower Colorado River basin

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.

Property owners on lakes Inks, LBJ and Marble Falls can manage and treat Eurasian watermilfoil

Eurasian watermilfoil is the prevalent vegetation found on lakes Inks, LBJ and Marble Falls. There are two possible ways to control this invasive plant: manual removal or chemical treatment.

Property owners who plan to use a chemical treatment, or herbicides, in the lake near their property should follow the herbicide treatment schedule for their area. Treatment proposals must be approved by both the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and LCRA before being implemented.

Visit the herbicide treatment zone map to determine the schedule and water use restriction dates for specific zones. Deadlines for submittal of spring 2017 treatment proposals range from March 18 to May 2, depending on the zone.

Treatment proposal forms should be submitted to at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and (LCRA).

Lake water should not be used for irrigation or potable purposes during designated time periods when herbicides may be in the water. If you are a property owner using lake water for potable purposes, please contact LCRA so your property can be identified.

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.


Herbicide Treatment Zone Map for lakes LBJ, Marble Falls and Inks

Lakeside properties on lakes LBJ, Marble Falls and Inks have designated herbicide treatment zones. These zones inform applicators and property owners when they can apply herbicide to manage aquatic plants. The zones also inform property owners when they need to avoid using lake water for irrigation or potable purposes.


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.