THE WOODLANDS, TX (KTRK) --Algae is taking over the Waterway in The Woodlands.
"It's sad to see this happening," said Linda, a Spring resident who likes to walk along the pathways that line the meandering man-made waterway.
It is the centerpiece of The Woodlands' commercial and tourism corridor.
The Waterway winds past shops, restaurants, hotels, and is the perfect spot along which to exercise in the great outdoors and, apparently, the not-so-great.
"It looks like it's growing faster than they can treat it," said Walter Pish, who runs along The Waterway daily. "It seems to come back every year, every so often."
The green weed is strangling the otherwise beautiful environment. It's hard to miss it.
Casie Mair-Miley who used to live in The Woodlands was back for a visit, and was surprised at what she saw.
"I've never seen it like this before. I just showed the kids," she said. "This is disgusting. What's happened here? It's really kind of nasty."
Gordy Bunch is the chair of The Woodlands Township board.
Bunch would like to see The Waterway dredged and the unsightly green cleaned up. Even if it takes a more unusual tool, like weed eating or sterile grass carp.
"Just like a forest has to be maintained, so do the aquatic amenities," he said. "Carp is not known as an attractive fish. (It's) Not one you would typically want to introduce. They can be evasive. But in this case they'd be doing work that would be beneficial for The Waterway conditions."
The Woodlands Development Company sent a statement to Eyewitness News:
The Woodlands Waterway now displays some natural symptoms of aging in the forms of algal blooms, development of sandbars and the establishment of submerged aquatic weeds. It is not unusual for waterways of similar character and use to undergo periodic draining and cleaning, but for aesthetic reasons, our strategy is designed to avoid draining The Woodlands Waterway, if possible.
Triploid Grass Carp is an effective way to deal with aquatic weeds, so we have submitted a Triploid Grass Carp application for approval to Texas Parks and Wildlife. The Triploid Grass Carp is part of a combined approach including chemical, biological and mechanical methods. Weekly monitoring and treatment as well as routine maintenance will continue throughout the course of the year to alleviate the current emerging condition. While we hope to avoid draining The Waterway, that step may become necessary in the future.
A representative from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department office in the district that includes Houston, among 20 counties, said Tuesday that the office had not yet received the permit request.
She said the district received, on average, 30 requests per month to use the carp to abate aquatic weeds. The closer it gets to the end of the summer, the more requests they get. It typically takes no more than two weeks to review the requests once received.