War on Zebra Mussels Escalates with Proposed North Texas Rules on Boating, Fishing

Categories: The Environment

A current meter pulled out of Lake Michigan.
Texas Parks and Wildlife unveiled proposed new rules Thursday to slow the advance of rapacious zebra mussels, which have hitchhiked their way as far south as Lake Lewisville with the help of oblivious boaters.

The invasive Eurasian mollusk propagates so rapidly that they stopper public water-uptake pipes, coat the hulls of boats and ruin their motors and can cause declines in game fish like catfish and striped bass by hogging all the phytoplankton bait fish rely on. They can eliminate native mussel species by colonizing their shells and suffocating them.

They're such effective filtration devices that they clear the water, allowing sunlight to penetrate to greater depths. It sounds like a benefit, but it isn't. Greater clarity causes the water to warm, potentially rendering it uninhabitable to certain species. Zebra mussels pose a huge threat not just to the ecosystems within our lakes, but to our water infrastructure as well. And in these dry times, we can ill afford to lose any.

To keep them out of the rest of North Texas' lakes and reservoirs, TPWD is proposing some pretty common-sense rules for a 17-county area. Boaters coming to or leaving any public waters would be required to drain all water from their vessels -- that means sailboats, jet skis, fishing boats, everything. No water can remain in your bilges, bait tanks, motors or anything else that comes in contact with the water.

If you catch a fish, you can't transport it in water from the lake. If you catch your own bait in a lake, it can only be used in that lake. Even if you buy it from a shop near the lake, it can be used only there.

Click here for a list of the counties that would be affected by these rules and the dates and locations of public meetings. If you'd like to submit a comment to TPWD, you can do that here.

Expect action on these new rules at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission's November 7 meeting.

My Voice Nation Help
mcdallas topcommenter

A little butter sauce.  A little garlic.  Some fettuccine.  And we've got lunch!


Listen, and understand!  Those zebra mussels are out there! They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.


I'm sure the biggest rule that will be followed will be "That rule is for everyone else, and not for me." 

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I for one am looking forward to the reign of our new zebra mussel overlords.


Let's all just pray that beer-infused urine kills these things, because then we have no worries.

Tina Camille Higgins
Tina Camille Higgins

they are bad in lake texoma, wouldn't be so bad if people would learn how to clean their dang boats and drain the water, geeze its common sense really

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

Well, they're cute when they're little.


Let's see, this is Texas, so. . . . .

1) No money for enforcement or assitance with mussel remediation

2) Zebra Mussels take over all lakes

3) Gov Perry and his North Texas cronies makes a sweet deal with water infrastructure manufacturers

4) Zebra mussels are the new in thing in Dallas fine dining

You heard it here first.


I'm all for this. But, how will they enforce it?

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