Invasive Zebra Mussels Found in Canyon Lake and Lake Travis

Texas wildlife officials positively identified invasive zebra mussels in two Central Texas river basins this summer: on June 8 at Canyon Lake in the Guadalupe River basin, in what is now the state’s southernmost affected lake, and on June 22 at Lake Travis in the Colorado River basin. The Guadalupe River and all the reservoirs downstream of Canyon Lake are now at risk of invasion as zebra mussel larvae disperse downstream, including Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Meadow Lake, Lake Gonzales (H-4), and Lake Wood (H-5). Furthermore, Monica McGarrity, who leads the TPWD Aquatic Invasive Species team, said in the department’s statement that zebra mussel larvae could end up floating downstream to Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake.

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Since zebra mussels were first found in Texas in 2009, 11 lakes in five river basins are now classified as infested, meaning they have an established, reproducing population – Belton, Bridgeport, Canyon, Dean Gilbert (a 45-acre Community Fishing Lake in Sherman), Eagle Mountain, Lewisville, Randell, Ray Roberts, Stillhouse Hollow, Texoma and now Travis.

In Texas, it is unlawful to possess or transport zebra mussels, dead or alive. Boaters are required to drain all water from their boat and onboard receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water to prevent the transfer of zebra mussels that might be inside. Zebra mussel larvae are microscopic and both adults and larvae can survive for days in or on boats transported from a lake. The requirement to drain applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not: personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks/canoes or any other vessel used on public waters. Boaters, please remember to clean, drain and dry your boat and gear every time you leave the water to stop the spread of zebra mussels!

For more information about invasive zebra mussels, please visit here.