|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2013-07-01                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Brian Van Zee, (254) 867-7974, brian.vanzee@tpwd.texas.gov or Mike Cox, (512) 389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 1, 2013
Emergency Zebra Mussels Order Signed
AUSTIN - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith has signed an emergency order adding the West Fork of the Trinity River including Lakes Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, and Worth to the list of water bodies under special regulations intended to help control the spread of zebra mussels.
Smith's action comes following the discovery in mid-June that veligers or larvae of the destructive invasive species had been found in Lake Bridgeport, west of Bridgeport. Lakes Eagle Mountain and Worth are also included in this emergency order because they are downstream of Lake Bridgeport and zebra mussels readily migrate downstream.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 2012 amended TPWD's regulations to help ensure that boats operated on Lake Lavon, parts of the Red River including Lake Texoma, and parts of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River including Lakes Ray Robert and Lewisville are drained (including live wells and bilges) before they leave those water bodies. Taking this precaution is crucial in efforts to slow the spread of this species, since contaminated boats are one of the primary ways this happens. Draining water from boats prevents the spread of a microscopic form of the zebra mussel called a veliger, which is invisible to the naked eye.
The emergency rule does create an exemption for persons to travel on a public roadway via the most direct route to another access point located on the same body of water without draining water from their boat. The emergency action would extend the applicability of the current regulation to all impounded and tributary waters of the West Fork of the Trinity River above the Lake Worth dam including Lakes Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, and Worth.
The zebra mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Eurasia. It has spread throughout Europe, where it is considered to be a major environmental and industrial menace. The animal appeared in North America in the late 1980s and within 10 years had colonized all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Tennessee, Hudson, and Ohio River basins. Since then, they have spread to additional lakes and river systems, including some in North Texas.
Zebra mussels live and feed in many different aquatic habitats, breed prolifically, and cannot be controlled by natural predators. Adult zebra mussels colonize all types of living and non-living surfaces including boats, water-intake pipes, buoys, docks, piers, plants, and slow moving animals such as native clams, crayfish, and turtles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the potential economic impact of zebra mussels to be in the billions of dollars.
Under authority granted by the Legislature, emergency rules can be adopted if the commission or the executive director finds that there is an immediate danger to a species authorized to be regulated by the department. This emergency rule will continue for no more than 120 days from the date this notice is filed with the Texas Register. TPWD will be preparing a non-emergency rule for consideration by the commission that would go into effect by the time the emergency rule expires.
For more information on zebra mussels and how to clean, drain and dry a boat, visit http://www.texasinvasives.org/

[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Jim Booker, james.booker@tpwd.state.gov, (903) 670-2266 ]
July 1, 2013
Invasive Species Workshop at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center July 13
ATHENS--You can help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic and other species in East Texas.
That's the message of a free workshop to be presented at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center on July 13 by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and local experts.
The Invaders of Texas Program trains volunteer "citizen scientists" to detect the arrival and dispersal of invasive species in their local areas. That information is delivered into a statewide mapping database and to those who can do something about it. The premise is simple: The more trained eyes watching for invasive species, the better our chances of lessening or avoiding damage to our native landscape.
Workshop attendees will be given basic information about the threat of invasive species in Texas, trained to identify those found in East Texas and shown how to enter information into the statewide database. The workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To register for the workshop, visit http://texasinvasives.org/invaders/workshop_results.php. More information about the citizen scientist program for which the workshop will be training can be found at http://texasinvasives.org/invaders/.