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Zebra mussels claim another lake

Monday, December 21, 2020 by Tai Moses

Lake Buchanan is the latest Central Texas waterway to become infested with the invasive zebra mussel. Scientists working with the Lower Colorado River Authority found zebra mussel larvae in samples taken from three sites around the lake in October, and recent sampling efforts have confirmed the existence of an “established, reproducing population” of the mollusk. Monica McGarrity, a senior scientist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said in a news release, “At this time, the results indicate that the population in the lake appears to be small. However, as we have seen in other Texas lakes, the population is likely to increase rapidly over the next few years.” Researchers warn that nearby Inks Lake, which is downstream from Lake Buchanan, “is likely to become infested in the near future.” Brian Van Zee, TPWD Inland Fisheries regional director, said that zebra mussels are now found in 31 Texas lakes, but their spread can be controlled if boaters obey protocol. “Before traveling from lake to lake, clean, drain and dry your boat and gear,” he said. “Remove plants, mud and debris, drain all the water from the boat and gear, and then open up compartments once you get home and allow everything to dry completely.” This map shows lakes in Texas where zebra mussels have been found.

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