OUTDOORS: TPWD combats invasive arundo

Like giant salvinia, another invasive plant species has invaded Texas: Arundo.
The plant is threatening to take over rivers in the Hill Country.
There’s currently a statewide financial effort of $6.3 million going toward controlling invasive aquatic species.
The Texas Legislature approved the funding for the 2016-17 biennium – an increase of $1.1 million from the previous two-year cycle.
Arundo could alter the shape and flow of streams, worsen erosion and exacerbate flooding problems – as well as increase wildfire risk.
The plant also is known as the giant reed or Carrizo cane. The plant is native to the Mediterranean, and introduced here as an ornamental plant.
Arundo grows in dense thickets up to 30 feet tall or taller – choking deep-rooted vegetation and infesting areas that are prone to bank undercutting – which can reduce water quality.
The plant is a “big drinker,” using more water than it displaces.
It threatens fish in Hill County rivers, including the state fish – the Guadalupe bass. The plant has degraded the bass’ habitat.
To fight the problem, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its partners are working with riverside landowners to put a stop to Arundo infestation. Read the Jan. 4 edition of The Bowie News for more outdoors news, including a list of trout stocking dates.

Arundo is yet another invasive plant species the Texas legislature has appropriated funds to combat. (Courtesy photo by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)