zebra mussels

Chase Fountain/TPWD

“Infested” is not a word you want to hear in reference to anything. But that’s exactly the word the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is using to describe Lake Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Anglers come from all over the world to fish Lake Fork, a 27,000-acre lake in east Texas with a reputation for producing monster fish. And in their quest to land a lunker, those fishermen also sustain the local economy. Which is why a new species in the lake has caused quite a bit of concern. And it’s not a species of fish, but a plant – an invasive floating fern called giant salvinia.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The invasive zebra mussel has been moving south for years, leaving destruction its wake. Now, it’s in Lake Travis (update: and Lake Austin), and it will soon make its way downstream, changing the look, feel and maybe even the taste of Austin’s lakes forever.

Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

In 2016, Texas was one of the fastest growing states in the country, adding almost a half-million people in a year’s time. With growth like that, securing future water supplies will become critical, so Sen. Ted Cruz filed a bill to loosen regulations around importing water from other states. The idea is to make it easier for Texas to buy water from its neighbors. But some worry it could lead to environmental destruction.

Ana Ramirez/Victoria Advocate

From Texas Standard:

Texas oyster reefs have taken a beating over the past several years. It started with Hurricane Ike in 2008, followed by drought and then flooding. Now the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is making some changes to how oysters are fished in Texas waters.