Archive for the 'Zebra mussels' Category

Help Halt Aquatic Invasive Species

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

This is Passport to Texas

You know how Smokey Bear says:

[Smokey Bear] Remember: only you can prevent forest fires.

He’s reminding us of our personal responsibility when we’re outdoors. It’s as true on the water as it is on the land.

Aquatic invasive species can quickly infect water bodies unless we take preventive measures. With summer boating season underway, Texas Parks and Wildlife asks boaters to help to stop the spread giant salvinia and zebra mussels which can travel from lake to lake on boats and trailers.

Boaters: “Clean, Drain and Dry” you boats, trailers, and gear every time you travel from one waterbody to another. A video on the TPW YouTube channel demonstrates the proper steps.

First, inspect the boat, trailer and gear. Clean off any vegetation, mud or foreign objects that you find. Second, pull the plug and drain all the water from the boat, including the motor, the bilge, live wells, and bait buckets before leaving the lake. Third, open all compartments and live wells and allow your boat, trailer and gear to completely dry for a week or more before entering another water body.

For complete instructions on how to clean, drain and dry your boat and trailer to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, go to texasinvasives.org.

The Sportfish Restoration Program Supports our series.

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

Preventing the Spread of Zebra Mussels

Thursday, July 6th, 2017
Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

Places where invasive zebra mussels hitch a ride.

This is Passport to Texas

Last month we discovered zebra mussels in Canyon Lake.

Every time you get a new infestation it’s discouraging – it just really is. It just gets you down. And it’s frustrating, because you know that if boaters and people who we know care about the lakes and rivers in this state, if they would just take some time, and be a little careful and make sure that they just clean, drain and dry their boat before they leave the lake every single time, that will go a long time towards preventing their spread.

Fisheries biologist Brian Van Zee says zebra mussels can clog public water intakes, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters.

You know, if boats are stored on the water in the marina, those are the ones where we’re going to have colonies of adult zebra mussels attached to them. Those are the ones that boat owners need to take the time to have that boat fully cleaned and decontaminated; have it inspected by Parks and Wildlife before you go ahead and move it to a different lake.

Once in a river basin, zebra mussels are there to stay.

But, what we can do is we can prevent them from being spread to a new river basin. If we can get the word out to these boat owners and public and transporters in the state, and let them know we’re trying to stop this spread, and prevent new infestations within new river basins – then we have a chance.

Find procedures to clean, drain and dry your boat on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Nonnative Zebra Mussels Found in Canyon Lake

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Zebra mussels can clog water pipes, cooling intakes on boat motors, and almost anything else left in the water in infested lakes. Image by Larry D. Hodge

Zebra mussels can clog water pipes, cooling intakes on boat motors, and almost anything else left in the water in infested lakes. Image by Larry D. Hodge

This is Passport to Texas

Zebra mussels have high reproductive capabilities.

And then they also have the capability of attaching themselves to pretty much any hard substrate or surface found within the waterbodies.

Nonnative zebra mussels can have serious economic, environmental and recreational impacts. Biologist Brian Van Zee says 10 Texas Lakes are fully infested and another five are positive.

The ones that are listed ‘infested’ mean that they actually have a viable breeding population within the lakes. The lakes that are ‘positive’ are lakes where we have documented zebra mussels or their larvae on more than one occasion. So, we know they’re present, but we may not have been able to fully verify whether or not they’re reproducing.

Zebra mussels can clog public water intakes, and damage boats and motors left in infested waters. In June, they were discovered in Canyon Lake.

We know that the zebra mussels in canyon lake are a result of a contaminated boat that was brought and launched on the lake at some point in time. The other way the zebra mussels will spread and move in Texas is simply through their downstream movement of larvae. If you get a lake or a reservoir that’s on the upper portion of a river basin that becomes infested then, as water flows from those lakes and moves downstream, they will carry the larvae with them.

We can prevent the spread of zebra mussels when we clean, drain and dry our boats before leaving infested waters. More on that tomorrow.

The Wildlife and sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

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.