Zebra Mussels Invade Texas Lakes

This is a bit of a departure from my normal blog topics, but I feel it is an extremely important one.

At PPL Motorhomes, we simply love the outdoors, that’s really no secret. As an RVer, I can probably safely say the same about you, as well. We are all stewards of the lands we choose to visit. We, as a collective whole, do as much as we can to leave as small of a footprint as possible. That means picking up after ourselves, not dumping garbage, or discarding sewage improperly. It means that we leave the places we visit in better condition than when we decided that THAT would be our home for the following few days.

Now, as outdoorsmen and women, our outside activities aren’t just relegated to just RVing. We go on bike rides, hike trails and some of us are even lucky enough to own a boat and explore our Texas rivers and lakes. I, unfortunately am not one of those RVers, but I know plenty of RVing families who do own watercraft. Those families have even more pressure to take care of Texas’ waters. Now, you may be thinking, “We are as protective of our environment while boating as we are RVing”. And while that might be the case in regards to disposing of garbage and doing your best not to contaminate the water with fuel and oil, there is one potentially catastrophic contaminate that you may not know much about: Zebra Muscles.

Zebra Mussels are a small invasive species of fresh water muscles that can spread from lake to lake by, essentially, hitching a ride on your boat or trailer. One female Zebra Mussels can have up to 1 million microscopic larvae. They mature quickly and attach to hard surfaces, like the hull of your boat, or trailer. Not only can they damage your boat, but even more alarming, the destroy aquatic life and ruin marine ecosystems and fisheries. In fact, these aqua-pests can even affect your water supply. As of right now, North Texas has it the worst, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they won’t make their way south.

So, what can be done to stop the spread of of Zebra Mussels? It’s actually a rather simple solution. You can keep them from ruining Texas’ fresh water habitats by simply cleaning your boat, motor, trailer and gear of all debris and draining all the water from it. You’ll then want to dry it for at least a week, or wash it with hot soapy water before taking your watercraft into another river or lake. By doing this simple task every time you remove your boat from any body of water you are helping protect all forms of aquatic life found in Texas lakes.
This means my grandchildren and yours will be able to enjoy the hundreds of beautiful lakes in our great state. Find more information about the harmful effects of Zebra Mussels at www.texasinvasives.org.

Now, I know this was a little bit of a different post for me than usual. But, I feel I have a pretty good platform to reach other Texans who enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. Even though I’ve been on my fair share of boats, I’m not an avid boater, so I can thank Texas Parks & Wildlife for opening my eyes to a problem that threatens Texas lakes and rivers that I never knew existed. If you are a boater and have more information to share on this topic, please don’t hesitate to do it in the comments section below. I you can point us to more education, we’d certainly appreciate that too as stewardship of our lakes and rivers just isn’t relegated to boaters.