Fisheries biologists surveying hydrilla at Lake Tyler

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 6:18pm

Texas Parks and Wildlife were surveying the amount of hydrilla at lake Tyler. We're told: a few years ago, the lake was overrun with hydrilla.

A few years ago when there was a lot of hydrilla it was treated. This is a plant that has a lot of benefits.

Hydrilla boaters hate it and anglers love it. "It has it's benefits and it has it's downfalls and anglers like myself see the benefit of it for myself and for the fish," said Ryan McCoy, Lake Tyler Fisherman.

Hydrilla is a leafy-floating plant. "It grows from the bottom, in kind of a ropie form," said Ott.

Boaters tell us that they're seeing a lot of hydrilla and it gets stuck in propellers. Fisheries Biologist Richard Ott says boaters can be mistaking hydrilla for other aquatic plants. "On Lake Tyler we didn't find any hydrilla at all, on the East Lake, we found two locations where we found very short little sprouts of hydrilla coming up off the bottom."

Ott says hydrilla helps the ecosystem. "It does form oxygen in the water, it provides fish habitat up to a point when it gets to the point where there's too much of it, it prevents the fish from being able to feed as well."

When it becomes a problem it's treated, and some fisherman have concerns whether the treatment is sucking oxygen out of the water and killing fish.

Ott tells us it just needs to be controlled. "While there's just a little bit it can be beneficial but it can go beyond that point and be detrimental.

Anglers say fish need strong forage like hydrilla. "That's their home, they need it to survive and grow without it, it slows the process," said McCoy.

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