Conservation Matters May 2013

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

TPWD reminds boaters to “clean, drain and dry” to combat zebra mussels

Zebra Mussels BuoyAs Texans head to their favorite lakes this summer, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is urging boaters and anglers to follow their simple “clean, drain and dry” procedure to keep zebra mussels from further expansion in the state.

“Now that water temperatures are getting warmer, zebra mussels are approaching their peak period of reproduction,” said Brian Van Zee, TPWD inland fisheries regional director. “The best way to stop zebra mussels is for boaters who operate their vessels on Lakes Texoma, Lewisville or Ray Roberts, to clean, drain and dry their boats before launching into another body of water.”

Zebra mussels became established in Lake Texoma in 2009 and last year were found in Lake Ray Roberts and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River above Lake Lewisville.  They can expand their range farther by hitching a ride on boats and trailers that have been immersed in waters where they have established populations, according to TPWD.

“Unfortunately, zebra mussel larvae, called veligers, are not visible to the naked eye,” Van Zee said.  “You could be transporting them on your boat and not even know it.  This is why it’s particularly important to always clean, drain and dry your boat and gear before heading to another water body.”

For more information on zebra mussels see texasinvasives.org/zebramussels, TPWD’s new zebra mussels video or the full TPWD news release.

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