Boaters urged to do their part to stop the spread of invasive zebra mussels

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requesting boaters take necessary precautions to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species

File photo (Kharker, Wikimedia Commons)

AUSTIN – With Memorial weekend just around the corner, Texans may be eager to get their boats out on the lake, but Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning boaters that they could be spreading an unwanted guest.

Invasive species pose a significant threat to Texas lakes.

Zebra mussels and giant salvinia can attach to boats and anchors and be transported to residual water in the boat,” according to TPWD Senior Scientist for Aquatic Species Management.

Invasive species like zebra mussels damage boats and infrastructure for water supply and control, in addition to altering lakes ecosystems and causing harm to non-invasive species.

By boaters taking the time to clean, drain, and dry boats, individuals can substantially prevent the spread of harmful invasive species.

It is also important to know that transporting prohibited aquatic species is illegal and punishable with a fine of up to $500 per violation. Boaters must drain all water from their boat and bait buckets before leaving.

By boaters doing their part this summer, they can aid in securing our lakes and making sure ecosystems are not disrupted.

For more information on how to properly clean, drain, and dry boats, visit the TPWD YouTube channel. To learn more about invasive species visit the TPWD website.

About the Author:

Emily Ramirez is a Digital Producer trainee for KSAT 12. She has written and photographed for several magazines and newspapers, including San Antonio Magazine, Austin Monthly and the San Antonio Current. A proud San Antonio native and graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, she is now completing her M.A. at UTSA.