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Attention boaters: new law starts July 1st

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 6:59pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 7:03pm

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is casting out a new rule to stop the spread of zebra mussels. "Theres not a way to rid them of a lake once they get in it," said Craig Bonds, Regional Director of Inland Fisheries for TPWD. The new law is any boater on a public water body in Texas, including Smith County, starting July 1st, will have to pull their drain plug out of their boat when they leave the lake.

It's because this invasive species currently inhabits 47 Texas counties. They can be detrimental to pipelines, boats, and aquatic life. Bonds says all it takes is one boat to make a mistake and to infect our waters. He said, "everybody plays a part in keeping these invasive species from spreading around the state and causing harm." Texas Parks and Wildlife Assistant District Fisheries Biologist, Jake Norman, agrees it's a good idea. As far as negativity surrounding new rules he said, "I think people will warm up to it eventually, its just like any other rule when it first comes in, it kind of shocks everybody, its something new, its something they're not used to so everybody wants to get upset about it."

However, long time fisherman, Mike Calley, doesn't see it as a problem. "I think it's a good idea, keeps from spreading zebra mussels, we don't need them around here," said Calley. He also encourages other to have the same outlook , and said "drain your boats. If i can do it, anybody can do it." "This new rule just really helps prevent them from spreading from one lake to the next, and makes lakes like this stay clean for a longer time so we can keep enjoying them," said Norman.

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