Dallas, TX –
Texas Parks and Wildlife is concerned invasive zebra mussels will spread through the entire Trinity River system via Lake Lavon. That's why state biologists will be testing North Texas waters as early as next week, as KERA's Shelley Kofler reports.
April marked the first time biologists documented the presence of zebra mussels in Texas waters. They were found in Lake Texoma on boats and in a downstream creek that flows into Lake Lavon.
The thumbnail-sized mussels multiply rapidly. Tom Harvey of Texas Parks and Wildlife says they could block pipes and restrict the flow at water treatment facilities on Lake Lavon. They could also threaten fish and the environment all the way from Lavon in North Texas to the Gulf.
Harvey: The big concern is that these zebra mussels are going to spread throughout the Trinity River watershed potentially all the way down to Houston. They can cause decline in fish population and native fresh water mussels which are highly beneficial. They help filter the water and are indicators of water and environmental quality.
The North Texas Municipal Water Authority pumps water from Lake Lavon to some 1.6 million customers north and northeast of Dallas. To limit the spread of the mussels the water authority has shutdown the system that transfers Texoma water into Lavon. The water authority says there's no danger to customers. The quantity and quality of their water won't be affected.
Harvey of Texas Parks and Wildlife says, however, if the mussels have migrated beyond Lavon into the Trinity corralling them will be tougher.
Harvey: What we need are boaters and anglers to help us stop the spread of these mussels.
Harvey says boaters should actively watch for the mussels and thoroughly clean their boats before moving from one body of water to another.