SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST) – Like many bodies of water in Texas, O.H. Ivie has seen the invasion of the non-native zebra mussel. Since 2019, the reservoir has been deemed by the state as infested.
The adult mussels can produce one million larvae, causing a dramatic takeover of ecological habitats.
However, it’s not just aquatic life they disrupt; they attach to hard surfaces like pipes, disrupting water supply flow and causing costly repairs.
Lynn Wright, with Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries, says, “Those zebra mussels are going to attach and clog a lot of those intake pipes and so those water providers are going to have to spend more money to clean and maintain those pipes to keep providing water, and those extra costs are going to ultimately get passed on down the line, so even if you don’t care about fishing or the ecology of reservoirs, you can see the impact in your water bill at some point.”
Experts say the only way to get rid of the invasive species is to clean – drain- and dry all objects going in and out of the water.