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News2019-03-14T07:52:46+00:00

Protect the Lakes You Love. Stop Zebra Mussels.

Clean, drain and dry

Zebra mussels are a small, destructive invasive species that can spread across Texas by hitching a ride on boats and trailers. They grow to only about 1 ½ inches and develop a distinctive zebra-striped shell. One zebra mussel can produce up to one million microscopic larvae. Zebra mussels can cause tremendous environmental and economic damage – hurting aquatic life, damaging your boat, hindering water recreation and even threatening your water supply.

Where are zebra mussels? The following Texas lakes are classified as “infested” with zebra mussels: Austin, Belton, Bridgeport, Canyon, Dean Gilbert (a 45-acre Community Fishing Lake in Sherman), Eagle Mountain, Georgetown, Lady Bird, Lewisville, Livingston, Randell (local Denison access only), Ray Roberts, Stillhouse Hollow, Texoma, and Travis. Lakes Fishing Hole, Grapevine, Lavon, Richland Chambers, Waco, and Worth, as well as river reaches downstream on the Colorado, Guadalupe, Lampasas, Leon, Little, Red, and Trinity Rivers, are classified as “positive” for zebra mussels. Lakes Fork and Ray Hubbard are classified as “suspect”.

Zebra mussels hide here

You can’t always see zebra mussels because their larvae are invisible to the naked eye. They can survive for days in water trapped in a boat. The only way to be sure you’re not carrying zebra mussels to another body of water is to always clean, drain and dry your boat, trailer and gear.

CLEAN

Clean your boat, trailer and gear by removing all plants, animals and foreign objects.

DRAIN

Drain all water from the boat, including the motor, bilge, live wells and bait buckets, before leaving the lake.

DRY

Dry the boat and trailer for a week or more before entering another water body. If unable to let it dry for at least a week, wash it with a high-pressure washer and hot (at least 140-degree), soapy water.

Transporting zebra mussels is illegal

Possession or transportation of zebra mussels in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500. Repeat offenses can be elevated to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, jail time up to 180 days, or both.

Boaters are required to drain all water from their vessel, including live wells, bilges, motors and any other receptacles, before approaching or leaving a water body. This applies to all types and sizes of boats used on fresh waters, effective July 1.

Report a sighting

We need your help to stop the spread of zebra mussels! Please report any new sightings, and if possible, take a picture of the zebra mussel and record its GPS location.

Facts about zebra mussels

Check out the zebra mussel profile in the Invasive Animals Database for more information on biology, history, habitat, distribution and management of this invasive species.

Campaign partners

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has developed this public awareness campaign to stop the spread of zebra mussels and the devastating threat they pose to our state’s aquatic ecosystems, private property and water-related infrastructure, such as water supply systems. This campaign is made possible by a coalition of partners, including:

  • Tarrant Regional Water District
  • Trinity River Authority
  • City of Dallas
  • North Texas Municipal Water District
  • Sabine River Authority
  • Brazos River Authority
  • San Jacinto River Authority
  • Guadalupe Blanco River Authority
  • Lower Colorado River Authority
  • Coastal Water Authority
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County
  • Upper Trinity Regional Water District