SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Authority says they continue to find non-native species that are wreaking havoc on the San Antonio River ecosystem, from fish to snails.
“These species in particular will eat up all the vegetation in the system and leave it void of any vegetation if they go unchecked. And that could have more cascading effects for various species throughout the food chain,” said Austin Davis, an aquatic biologist with the San Antonio River Authority.
Davis said they are trying to combat invasive species throughout the basin.
“A lot of the invasives are introduced through aquarium dumps into the river. That’s where we get some of our armored catfish. Some of our apple snails,” Davis said.
The river authority said some aquarium hobbyists purchase these non-native species for their homes, but once they outgrow their tanks, they throw them in the river.
“These species, because they are invasive, they are not native to our basin. There’s no natural predators for them in our system, so they can reproduce in pretty alarming rates and take over our entire system and outcompete some of our natives,” Davis said.
Davis said you could go to your local aquarium or find another hobbyist where you could re-home your fish or snail.
“We would love to know where the invasives are popping up, anywhere and everywhere throughout the basin. So, if anybody sees anything, we would like to get any reports of those,” Davis said.
If you want to help, Davis said you can also volunteer with the river authority.
“We can have everyone trained up to remove apple snails in a safe manner,” Davis said.
Davis said although there are a lot of invasives species within the basin, the vast majority of the species they find right now are native species.
You can go to the San Antonio River Authority website, by clicking here.