The Snow King Pleco (armored catfish) is an invasive species that was likely introduced by aquarium/tropical fish hobbyists who released them into local streams.
They are found in many Texas rivers but are especially problematic in spring fed rivers or bayous where the water temperatures do not drop significantly in the winter. Plecos are established in the San Antonio, San Marcos, Comal, and Guadalupe River systems, as well as Buffalo Bayou.
Plecos have been described as one of the most destructive and potentially threatening invasive fish in Texas. These tough, algae-eating fish can withstand a wide range of water quality conditions and can outcompete many native species for space. Their body is dense and bony, and they can survive out of water for long periods of time. Plecos often dig burrows into river walls and embankments which then collapse and erode.
To learn more about Snow King Plecos and the rules intended to prevent them from becoming more widespread, check out the TPWD page here:
This Pleco was inadvertently caught while bass fishing.