Boat draining law goes into effect July 1st

TPWD
News
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 10:29am

A "Heads up" to boaters... a new law goes into effect tomorrow, that changes the way boaters will end a nice day out on the lake.

We visited Lake Tyler on Monday and spoke with boaters about this new law. They tell us can see why draining your boat is important, but few knew it would be a law, starting tomorrow. And that's why Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants to get the word out, now... to clean, drain and dry your boat.

Zebra mussels are invasive species that can cause major damage to the environment and your boat.

"Game Warden-Effective July 1st of this year every boater is required to drain when they leave public waters and they need to make sure their boat is drained before they enter public water."

Game Warden Brad Clark says the purpose of this new law is to prevent the spread of zebra mussels. "Once zebra mussels enter the waterways they can be devastating, they'll clog up public drinking systems."

Clark says most importantly, "They can clog up your motor, it can cause your motor to overheat, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and clean-up because once they enter the lake there's no way to get them out," Clark. He adds, "Failing to drain your boat, it can be a Class C misdemeanor the range of fines is 25 to 500 dollars."

Adam Moore of Arp was taking his boat out and we told him about the new law. "I really didn't have any idea about but I think that it's definitely good to make people aware of the problem with the zebra mussels."

Randy Smiley of Whitehouse says he's seen zebra mussel damage, first hand. "Every time I come out I check and make sure I dry the boat. "Just think about these rocks having these mussels on it, it's really going to leave a big impact on this lake."

Clark tells us, it's important for everyone to follow the law... and clean, drain and dry your boat.

"All is takes is one contaminated boat to enter the water system and that waterway is going to be effected for the rest of its life."

If you would like more information on the new law please click the link below:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20140625a

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