SAN ANGELO, Texas – For many years people have heard about the spread of zebra mussels, and the impacts its had. Now, they’ve come to O.H. Ivie right here in the Concho Valley. There are numerous drawbacks to the presence of zebra mussels, including their habit of attaching to water infrastructure. However, their harm to the local biome does not end there.
“The the clear negative of having zebra mussels in the lake is that there are filter feeders, and they become incredibly abundant,” explained Lynn Wright, District Supervisor of Inland Fisheries for Texas Parks and Wildlife. “So they’re going to be filtering nutrients zooplankton phytoplankton out of the water. That’s food that normally goes to small fish and bait fish and on up the food chain to our sport fish that anglers love the fish for.”
The water may end up looking clearer, but that benefit is superficial. The law states that boaters must drain craft before transporting it between bodies of water. Power washing it with 140 degree water also works, but nature can also aid in sanitizing. Owing to the dry air and high temperatures of West Texas, TPWD staff say opening and draining your boat followed by letting it air out for up to three days, will kill any zebra mussel larvae which are present.
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