Zebra Mussels Come to Lake Waco

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.

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