Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Mysterious plant life in Barton Creek catches city attention

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TWC News: Mysterious plant life in Barton Creek catches city attention
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Austinites on the trail around Barton Creek may have noticed some new plant life in the popular waterway.

A rapid growth of aquatic life is flourishing between Barton Springs and Barton Creek, and is spreading into Lady Bird Lake. City officials are researching the new growth to find out if the plants are native to the lake or if invasive species have made their way to the waters.

Todd Jackson, a biologist with the City of Austin Watershed Protection, was on a research mission Thursday. He worked to recover some of the plant matter to identify just what’s in the waters of Lady Bird Lake.

“It looks like milfoil,” Jackson said. “I'm going to roll it out when I get back to the office and take a close look at it and see which milfoil I think it is."

Experts said they believe the plants harvested Thursday are a mixture of native and invasive species.

Some biologists theorize the drought could be to blame for the sudden bloom.

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