Texoma Lakes Threatened by Zebra Mussels

They might be small in size but they can do some serious damage. Invasive zebra mussels are taking over a Texoma lake and now pose a threat to other lakes.

Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife say recent samplings done at Lake Arrowhead tested positive for zebra mussels DNA. Officials also made it clear that although the lake has traces of the DNA, no actual zebra mussels were found.

Texas Parks And Wildlife officials say right now Lake Texoma is the only known lake to be infested with zebra mussels, but traces of its DNA have shown up at Lake Arrowhead. Robert Mauk a biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife comments,"It does not mean that we have zebra mussels there. We've had other tests where we've had positive DNA results and then later go back and have negative results."

Just to be on the safe side Mauk says Texas Parks And Wildlife is being proactive. Zebra mussels can impact our lakes ecosystem and our local economy. Mack says, "They could plug up the lines that bring water to the city. It would cost quite a bit of money to keep the lines clean and would interrupt the water usage."

Zebra mussels will grow on just about anything with a hard surface. They will grow on boats, rocks, other living fish, and other mussels. But Mauk's main concern is how easily transferable the mussels are. "If you have water in your boat or in your bate bucket you could be transferring."

Zebra mussels or its larva will attach to boats, bait buckets or other aquatic recreational equipment. Once waters are infested with zebra mussels Mauk says you are in bad shape. "You don't get rid of them once you have them. That's the problem so you have to make sure you don't get them."

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say in order keep the mussels from spreading you have to professionally clean, drain and dry anything that comes in contact with infested waters.

They also say zebra mussels are so invasive, an adult female zebra mussel can release up to a million eggs in a year.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6