A research team discovered an invasive mussel in Grapevine Lake and experts are warning that it could have serious economic and environmental consequences on the body of water.
The research team discovered “a juvenile zebra mussel” in the south side of the lake on June 22. This backed up a plankton sample taken in May that contained microscopic mussel larva.
Zebra mussels can cause harm to species native to the lake. They multiply rapidly, so they can also cover rocks along the shoreline and damage motors and well as cause water quality issues.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments mandates that boaters drain all water from their vessels before entering a lake to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.
Still, the department wants to remind people that the lakes are still safe to visit.
"Zebra mussels shouldn't deter anyone from visiting and enjoying the water this summer," TWPD Inland Fisheries Regional Director Brian Van Zee said in a press release. "But preventing the spread of zebra mussels needs to be a priority for everyone regardless of which lake you're visiting.”
Grapevine Lake is now the eleventh lake in the Trinity River Basin in which zebra mussels have been found.