Invading species could damage East Texas waters
POSTED: Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 7:02pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 2:28pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Zebra mussels first hit Texas waters in 2009, after making their way down from the Great Lakes. Now, they inhabit 47 counties across the lone star state. While they haven't made it here yet, they could any time soon. They inhabit lakes across the Metro-Plex, and as close as Henderson county. Clark said, "it is a statewide problem, this is something we're, Texas Parks and Wildlife, is spending a lot of resources, a lot of time trying to prevent, trying to remedy, but once they're in the water, they're in, there's no way to remove it."
All it takes is one contaminated boat, to ruin an entire lake. So what makes zebra mussels so detrimental? "Anything that you can think of that it can attach to, it will attach to and multiply..They can become a real nuisance, and health hazard once it gets into the water system and clogging up some of those intakes," said Clark.
Its invading the environment, and your wallet. "They're so small they can actually get up in your boat, clog your drain system in your boat, or your cooling system for your motors," said Clark. Plus, if you get caught contaminating Texas lakes with zebra mussels, you can receive a fine up to $500. Texas Parks and Wildlife is strongly recommending to clean your boat anytime after being on an infected lake. "You have to drain your boat, if you come off one of these waters that have been infected. Anything that can hold water in that boat needs to be dry, and needs to dry out before you go to another lake," said Clark.
To find a full list of infected lakes, or for more information, click here.