What is a Zebra Mussel? They are small mussels that originated in the Balkans, Poland and the former Soviet Union. They are first reported to have been found in North America in 1988, by way of Northeastern Canadian waterways. They are believed to have hitched a ride in the ballast tanks of the large commercial ships traveling those waterways. Fairly small, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long as adults, the larvae are often not visible to the naked eye and they can easily attach to boat bottoms, sight unseen. They start reproducing about 2 years old. A female can be responsible for 30,000 to 1 million offspring annually!
The Texas Parks and Wildlife have partnered together to raise public awareness to report any sightings and to take precautions to not accidently bring these unwanted guests to the state of Texas! It is illegal to bring zebra mussels into the state. They are able to colonize inside pipelines, restricting the water flow to homes and businesses and the financial cost trying to fix this can be very expensive.
These zebra mussel herds are toxic to Texas; environmentally as well as economically. The best way to help keep this pest at the border, is to “clean, drain and dry” all boats, trailers and equipment after your outings. Remember they can get into your coolers, and because the larvae are so small, you may be taking them home.
Remember clean, drain and dry your vehicles and equipment and report any sightings (it is recommended that you take a picture and mark the GPS location when reporting, if possible). The zebra mussel can hurt us all as they multiply so rapidly and have no natural predators in Texas lakes. Help to be a part of the solution, and keep Texas lakes ecologically sound so that we can continue to enjoy our Great State! Have a safe summer from all of us at Bio-Tech! And remember, zebra mussels belong in … Poland, not Texas!