Archive for the 'Zebra mussels' Category

More Funding to Fight Invasive Species

Friday, May 13th, 2016
Aquatic imvasives

Aquatic imvasives

This is Passport to Texas

Record funding approved by the Texas Legislature is launching new fronts in the war on aquatic invasive species.

With $6.6 million dollars in appropriations, this year and next, Texas Parks and Wildlife will ramp up an unprecedented effort to control and stop the spread of aquatic invasive plants and creatures.

Some of the aquatic invasive species that will receive the agency’s attention include: giant salvinia and zebra mussels covering Texas lakes, to giant reed and salt cedar smothering rivers and streams, to exotic fish that compete with Texas natives and alter natural ecosystems.

One major category of work is Aquatic Invasive Plant Management—projects focused on management of aquatic invasive plants on public waters to enhance boater access for recreation, and management of riparian invasive plants in target areas to improve water quality and quantity.

In Texas, the economic impacts of aquatic invasives are far-reaching, costing the state billions of dollars annually, including threatening to undermine a recreational freshwater fishing industry worth more than $4 billion-dollars.

That’s our show. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with support of proud members across the state. Find out more at tpwf.org

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Flooding and Aquatic Invasive Species

Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels

This is Passport to Texas

Texas lakes and rivers are full and flowing again thanks to an influx of water brought on by heavy spring rains. The downside is we could see the spread of invasive species as a result.

06- We always have to be vigilant about invasive species: zebra mussels…giant salvinia…water hyacinths…

Inland fisheries’ Dave Terre says improved water levels and boat ramp accessibility means more boaters on the water. He adds everyone must do what is in their control to prevent the spread of these species.

09- Make sure that you clean your boats and trailers; and dry your boats–and drain your boats–before going onto other water bodies. It’s the law.

Cleaning, draining and drying boats–that’s within our control. Mother Nature is not. When she soaked Texas, it’s possible she also flushed zebra mussels downstream.

25- Certainly, we’ll be monitoring that situation through time, but at this point it’s really unknown what impact these floods will have on the spread of zebra mussels across our state. But, anglers and boaters still need to be mindful about spreading these species by boat. [Clean, drain & dry] is the one thing we do have control over, and one thing that we can do. We’re always concerned about invasive species trying to keep them out of our water bodies. So we need to control what we can control.

Find information about invasive species at texasinvasives.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Beating Down Zebra Mussels in Lake Waco

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Zebra mussels

Zebra mussels

This is Passport to Texas

In September 2014, when City of Waco employees found zebra mussels near a boat ramp in Lake Waco, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco, and Texas Army Corps of Engineers moved quickly to stop this non-native aquatic invasive in its tracks.

06-The City of Waco ordered up tarps, they hired commercial divers, set the plan, and last fall we put ’em all in place.

Brian Van Zee, Inland Fisheries Regional Director, says there wasn’t time to obtain permits for chemical treatments, so divers and staff positioned the eight thick, rubber tarps on the lake bottom over the infested area to block sunlight and oxygen below.

15- We just recently pulled those tarps from lake Waco, and it was really looking very good; we could tell by the condition of the tarps– underneath them–that we had reached anoxic conditions. You could smell the hydrogen sulfide smell and these black conditions you typically see when you have anoxic conditions.

Although divers found two live zebra mussels on rocks they brought up, Van Zee is optimistic.

14-Maybe we knocked back the number of zebra mussels that were in that area, far enough to where they cannot create a viable, reproducing population. We don’t know if that’s the case or not. We really won’t know probably until this spring or summer, actually; maybe even next fall.

Until then, all partners will continue to monitor the lake and enforce the clean, drain and dry law for all boaters. Learn more on the TPW website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series. Learn about combating zebra mussels and other aquatic invasives at texasinvasives.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Combating Zebra Mussels in Lake Waco

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Clean, drain and dry your boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.

Clean, drain and dry your boats to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.


This is Passport to Texas

Before zebra mussels appeared in Lake Waco, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco and the Army Corps of Engineers worked on ways to prevent an infestation, which involved close monitoring of arriving vessels.

06–They city hired summer interns to conduct boater education and boater surveys and inspections, in an effort to try and prevent the introduction [of zebra mussels] to Lake Waco.

Brian Van Zee, Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Regional Director, says despite their best efforts, in the summer of 2014, a vessel previously in zebra mussel infested Lake Belton evaded their scrutiny and launched in Lake Waco. In September, City of Waco employees found zebra mussels near the boat ramp. And everyone mobilized.

27– [We thought] if we can act quickly, before the water temperature begins cooling down in the fall again, we might be able to get on top of these things. And, we had heard and seen studies where they had used these big, heavy, thick pond liners and covered an area; and you can suffocate them [zebra mussels]. So, we knew that we could get approval from the Corps of Engineers to install those and get that done pretty quickly, So, the City of Waco ordered up the tarps, they hired commercial divers, set the plan, and last fall we put ’em all in place.

Brian Van Zee shares the results of their efforts tomorrow.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series. Get  more information about zebra mussels at texasinvasives.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Zebra Mussels Come to Lake Waco

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels


This is Passport to Texas

Non-native zebra mussels pose potential ecological and economic damage wherever there’s an infestation. In September 2014, they showed up in Lake Waco.

06-Unfortunately there was a vessel that was launched on Lake Waco last summer; it had come from Lake Belton.

Brian Van Zee, Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Regional Director, says Lake Belton has an established population of zebra mussels; they hitched a ride to Lake Waco on the vessel in question.

15- It was heavily infested with those individuals when they left Lake Belton. They did not inspect it; they did not clean it. So, they launched on Lake Waco and introduced these mussels to the lake.

The zebra mussel larvae are microscopic, which is why it is imperative boaters clean, drain and dry their vessels when going from one water body to the next.

24-Texas Parks and Wildlife department enacted the law last year requiring boaters–anytime they leave or approach a freshwater lake or river system in the state–their boats have to be dry. And that’s all aimed at preventing the spread of these microscopic organisms. So, take those three simple steps of clean, drain, dry; it doesn’t take long. It’s very simple to do. It’s better for your boat in terms of maintenance, anyway; so go ahead and do it.

What Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Waco and Army Corps of Engineers is doing to combat zebra mussels in Lake Waco–that’s tomorrow. Learn more about zebra mussels at www.texasinvasives.org.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife–I’m Cecilia Nasti.