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Zebra mussels invade Lake Austin

Friday, August 18, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

Yesterday, we reported that the zebra mussel was making its way to Austin lakes and what that could mean for the city’s waterways. Early Thursday, Texas Parks and Wildlife announced that Lake Austin “is now classified as positive” for the invasive species. Officials don’t know whether the mussels came into the lake from Lake Travis or from an “infested” boat. City officials have said boats should be hosed off with hot water and cleaned after use so as not to spread the mussels, which stick to the bottom of boats, kayaks and other watercraft. “We want folks to be aware of zebra mussels in Lake Austin and to let us know if they’re finding them in other areas of the lake,” said Monica McGarrity, aquatic invasive species team lead for Texas Parks and Wildlife, in a Thursday press release. “As we continue to monitor the population that location information will be very helpful.” On Thursday afternoon, the Colorado River Alliance released a statement on the situation. “These mussels will cause tens of millions of dollars in damage in the coming years,” said R. Brent Lyles, the alliance’s executive director. “Unless you clean, drain, and dry your boat every single time, you’re bringing zebra mussels with you when you take your boat from one place to another.”

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