Exotic and Invasive Species
The Zebra Mussel Threat
A native of Eurasia, the destructive zebra mussel was first observed in North America in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, on the border between Michigan, USA and Ontario, Canada. Since then the zebra mussel has spread to various states located along the Mississippi Waterway and has been reported as far west as Utah and California.
The first Texas infestation was found in Lake Texoma in 2009. As of 2015, populations have been documented in lakes Belton, Bridgeport, Dean Gilbert (a 45-acre Community Fishing Lake in Sherman), Lavon, Lewisville, Ray Roberts, Texoma and Waco. Zebra mussel DNA has been documented in several additional water bodies but to date no adults or veligers have been found to verify their presence. To combat the spread of this destructive pest, a statewide rule requires draining of water from boats and onboard receptacles when leaving or approaching public fresh waters. Learn more about zebra mussels.