River Authority to Monitor for Threat of Non-Native Invasive Species During River Walk Draining

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WHAT:       As part of the City of San Antonio’s draining of the River Walk, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) will conduct operations and maintenance activities on the Museum Reach segment of the River Walk from Pearl to Lexington Ave. while the City of San Antonio does its maintenance work on the downtown section of the River Walk. In addition to operations and maintenance activities, crews from the River Authority’s Environmental Sciences Department will be serving as the lead biologists throughout the entire River Walk area during the draining. The River Authority’s scientific staff will be working to save and relocate native aquatic species to other appropriate parts of the river while leveraging the opportunity of lower water levels in the River Walk to remove any non-native invasive species. In addition to being on the lookout for non-native invasive fish species like the Plecostomus (suckermouth catfish) and tilapia, River Authority staff will be looking for a new non-native invasive species, the Apple Snail, which was recently discovered in the River Walk this October. A native of South America, these snails can grow to 6 inches and their presence is often indicated by bright pink egg sacks that can contain thousands of individual eggs. River Authority staff removed 79 eggs sacks from the River Walk on October 31 and plans are in place to find and remove the actual snails during the January River Walk draining. The operations and maintenance work as well as the biological efforts are all part of the River Authority’s commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers.

WHEN:      Monday, January 6, 2020 @ 1 p.m.

WHO:        Shaun Donovan, San Antonio River Authority Senior Aquatic Biologist

                  Christopher Vaughn, San Antonio River Authority Aquatic Biologist II

WHERE:   River Authority staff will be available for interviews related to the aquatic species work on Monday, at 1pm on the Museum Reach boat ramp at the intersection of Camden St. and Newell Ave.

Nefi Garza, P.E. City of San Antonio’s TCI Assistant Director will also be onsite for questions related to river drainage process.

NOTES:    Citizens are encouraged to help stop the spread of non-native invasive aquatic species by never dumping aquarium contents in a Texas river, lake, or natural body of water. Community members can also help by reporting any sightings of non-native invasive species within the San Antonio River Basin to the River Authority’s Environmental Investigations Team at sara-tx.org or by contacting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Visit TPWD’s www.texasinvasives.org website to learn more.

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