O.H. Ivie added to list for possible zebra mussel presence

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently added O.H. Ivie Reservoir to the list of those suspected to have zebra mussels. Texas has been contending with the zebra mussel issue for many years.

“Zebra mussles originally came from Europe,” explains TX Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Biologist Lynn Wright. “They came over in ballast water and ships, and were originally a problem the great lakes area. They’ve been spreading throughout the mississippi river basin, and that’s been going on for decades. Down here in texas we’re pretty much on the front lines of that spread.”

Many communities in and around the Concho Valley, including Abilene, depend on Ivie as a water source; therefore the idea of zebra mussels comes with some anxiety.

“Recently with the new report that came out,” said Wright, “O.H. Ivie has been listed as suspected. I can tell you that the reason it’s listed as suspect is, in the pipeline that pumps water from ivie, there was a zebra mussel found. We have not found any zebra mussels in the reservoir itself.”

Wright says those using texas water ways need to stay vigilant. It is state law to empty bilge water from boats prior to transporting them between bodies of water, and the game wardens will be stepping up enforcement of this. Many will recall the difficulty Austin residents recently faced when deceased zebra mussels gave thier tap water a noxious odor and taste.

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