Zebra Mussels invading Texas lakes

Zebra Mussels cause millions of dollars in spending to unclog intakes for power plants and damaging water crafts

If you are a boater or fisherman you have probably heard about Zebra Mussels. Zebra Mussels are a fingernail sized mollusk that are an invasive species, recognizable by the dark zig-zags stripes on their shell. They negatively impact ecosystems by competing with native filter feeding fish, attach to native mussels and smother them. Zebra Mussels also affect the economy by attaching to water intakes essentially clogging them. They affect boat owners too by attaching to boats, motors and filter systems causing irreparable damage. Texas Parks and Wildlife senior scientist for aquatic invasive species Monica McGarrity says the most important thing that we can do is to make sure our boats are not transporting zebra mussels to other lakes.

“You know if you take your boat on the lake for a day, you need to clean drain and dry it. Remove any plants, mud and organisms on the boat. Drain all the water out of the boat and compartments in the motor,” says McGarrity. “Then let it dry… Its likely infested with Zebra Mussels, even if you don’t see them they are probably in cracks and crevices, just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.”

Zebra Mussels cause millions of dollars in spending to unclog intakes for power plants and damaging water crafts. Once Zebra Mussels are in an ecosystem, they rapidly reproduce and are nearly impossible to remove unless caught in its early stages.