Invasive zebra mussels found in Canyon Lake

June 13, 2017 GMT

Russian invaders have stealthily infiltrated Canyon Lake, a major Hill Country water supply.

We’re talking, of course, about zebra mussels.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials on Monday confirmed the presence of the highly invasive and destructive mussels in Canyon Lake, a reservoir on the Guadalupe River that supplies water to San Antonio and other cities.

The mussels reproduce rapidly and can accumulate on boats and motors, litter beaches and rocks with sharp shells and clog up intakes for drinking water supplies. Canyon Lake is the southernmost lake in Texas and the first in the Guadalupe River basin with a confirmed infestation, according to TPWD.

The mussels originated in Russia and were first found in the U.S. in the Great Lakes region. Since then, they have spread across much of the country, their larvae floating downstream in rivers and hitching rides on boats.


“Unfortunately, I think this is a textbook scenario of a zebra mussel infestation that is the result of a contaminated boat being launched in the lake,” TPWD inland fisheries regional director Brian Van Zee said in a statement. “It really hits home how important it is for boaters to take ownership of the problem.”

TPWD officials are urging boaters to follow regulations passed in 2014 to prevent the mussels’ spread by using the following steps:

Clean boats, trailers and gear by removing all plants, animals and foreign objects.

Drain all water from boats, including the motor, bilge, live wells and bait buckets.

Dry the boat and trailer for a week or more, or wash at high pressure with hot, soapy water at least 140 degrees.

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