GRAPEVINE, Texas - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has upgraded the status of Grapevine Lake to fully infested with invasive zebra mussels.
The change is based on recent samples that revealed the presence of both larva and zebra mussel in various parts of the lake.
“We have observed zebra mussels in Grapevine Lake for several years but never found them in large numbers. Recent findings could be an indication that zebra mussels are establishing a population in the reservoir,” said Dr. Christopher Churchill, the chief of North Texas Studies at the USGS Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center.
TPWD has been monitoring the lake’s zebra mussel population since 2011. The infestation is not surprising but disappointing, the department said.
“We hope that the impacts to fish populations are minimal on Grapevine and want to stress to boaters to clean, drain, and dry their boats when leaving any reservoir,” said Rafe Brock, Inland Fisheries’ Fort Worth district supervisor.
Aside from harming other aquatic life, zebra mussels can litter shorelines with sharp shells, damage boats and clog water intakes.
Boaters must clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment before they leave the lake to avoid spreading them to other lakes and reservoirs. Failing to do so could result in a fine.
“Taking just a few minutes for these simple steps can help prevent impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and recreation and make a huge difference in our efforts to protect and preserve Texas lakes for future generations,” said Monica McGarrity, a senior scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species Management at TPWD.
For more information about properly cleaning boats, visit tpwd.texas.gov/StopInvasives