Invasive Species
7:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Central Texas Boaters Could Soon Face More Rules Because of Zebra Mussels

As the invasive and annoying zebra mussel pops up in a sixth Texas lake, state wildlife commissioners are getting ready to vote on new rules that would require boaters in Central Texas counties to clean, drain and dry their boats whenever they take them out of the water, whether the boat has a motor or not. 

Texas Parks & Wildlife announced Tuesday that zebra mussels were found in  Lake Lavon, one of the largest lakes in North Texas. The invasive species was first discovered in Texas in 2006 and was already found in Lakes Texoma, Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Bridgeport and Belton.

Zebra mussels can damage boat motors, clog public-water intake pipes, harm lake ecosystems and even cut your feet with their razor sharp shells. 

The mussels are not yet known to be in Central Texas, but the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission is considering extending rules to our region that already exist in 17 counties. The requirement to clean, drain and dry boats is intended to prevent the spread of zebra mussels and their larvae. The proposed regulation would add thirty counties to the requirement, including Travis and seven surrounding counties. 

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the rule at their next meeting on Thursday. You are invited to register your opinion with commission online until 5 p.m. Wednesday. 

Here's a video from Texas Parks & Wildlife explaining the hazard posed by zebra mussels.