SAN ANTONIO, Texas — An invasive species has been discovered in the San Antonio River ecosystem.
The San Antonio River Authority shared this picture via Facebook with the caption, "Friendly Reminder: Don't dump your aquarium in the river!"
The Hypostomus plecostomus catfish, also referred to as the armored catfish, is a non-native species to the San Antonio River.
They believe these catfish were likely purchased from a pet store but then thrown into the river once they outgrew their home aquarium.
"While they may be well-intentioned, these citizens are unknowingly wreaking havoc on the San Antonio River ecosystem," said the San Antonio River Authority.
So what damage are these catfish capable of?
This invasive species of catfish are known to burrow into riverbanks, causing erosion and leaving the bank at risk of collapse.
This habit also increases water temperature, often killing the native population in the process, according to the San Antonio River Authority.
As the armored catfish feeds off algae, for San Antonio, this may also result in a decrease in native species like the central stoneroller.
The San Antonio River Authority is asking anyone that sees these catfish to contact them toll-free at (866) 345-7272 or via their website.
"Your help with reporting this invasive species will assist our Environmental Sciences Team to further study and remove the presence of this non-native species along our creeks and rivers," wrote the San Antonio River Authority via their official website.
The organization is also accepting new volunteers for their River Warriors program, a group dedicated to mitigating the impact of non-native species.
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