Have you seen the billboards up and down I-35 near Lake Lewisville warning against zebra mussels?
At Buxton Marine – your #1 source for new and pre-owned boats in Lewisville, Texas, we’ve gotten quite a few questions from boaters about these tiny pests, so we wanted to give you the scoop on what they are, what to look for, and preventative measures you can take against them.
What are Zebra Mussels?
Zebra mussels are tiny mussels that are identified by their zebra striped shells. They only grow to 1.5 inches max, but can produce 1 million microscopic larvae per mussel. This means, you may not even see the larvae before it’s too late! Scientists believe they are originally from the Great Lakes area, migrating down to Texas over the last few years and wrecking havoc on Texas lakes like Lake Lewisville, causing damage to boats, lakes, and the surrounding environment.
Why are Zebra Mussels Considered Such a Nuisance?
- Environmental Issues: Zebra mussels are not native to Texas, and their sheer existence in Texas lakes harms the natural ecosystem. Zebra mussels take food from other natural wildlife, destroy vital algae in the water, and in turn, reduce the amount of game fish in the water.
- Boat and Dock Damage: Zebra mussels invade water intake systems and motors, cover boat hulls, and cause costly damage in the process. Anything left in the water is fair game for zebra mussel infestation.
- Water Supply: Zebra mussels can affect the water supply of neighboring communities because they love to clog pipes within the infested waters
How do I Prevent Zebra Mussels?
Lake Lewisville is one of several lakes in Texas that is “positive” for zebra mussel infestation. A good rule of thumb to prevent the spread and growth is to properly clean, drain, and dry your ski boat, fishing boat, or other recreational boat after each use:
- Clean: Use a pressure washer and warm, soapy water to rinse down your boat and trailer after each use.
- Drain: Drain the all water intake systems before leaving the lake.
- Dry: Allow your boat and trailer to fully dry for at least a week before entering another body of water.