curved box top

blue top

blue line

Cloudy


Cloudy

Wind:  0 mph SE

Humidity:  45%


blue bottom


blue top

blue line


Lake Travis Water Level

   updated 1:00 PM


blue bottom


blue top

Lake Travis Webcam

blue bottom


blue top

blue bottom


Contact Go Lake Travis

Lake Travis ‘infested’ with invasive, damaging zebra mussels

Posted: Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:15 PM - 995 Readers

By: Dave Byknish and Phil Prazan




Zebra mussels, the invasive species that could cause major economic and environmental damage to a waterway have now been found in Lake Travis, less than two weeks after they were found in Canyon Lake.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department made the announcement Tuesday after a staff member at an unnamed local marina reported seeing a single zebra mussel attached to the outboard motor of a boat that was tied up on the lake on June 22. Biologists responded and found mussels attached to other boats nearby and on the marina’s submerged infrastructure.

“We just don’t want to get out of control and find out that we could have done something about it earlier and we were too slow,” said Mukhtar Farooqi, fisheries biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. “They will block pipes and make it very expensive for cleaning.”

Several different sizes of adult and juvenile mussels were found at two different sites on the lake, leading TPWD to declare the lake infested with a reproducing population.

This is the first time the zebra mussel has been found in any of the Highland Lakes.

Authorities said the next step after identifying an infestation is to make the public aware and educate them how to stop the spread. There is a risk of the mussels naturally dispersing downstream to Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake, but a more immediate risk would be the mussels being transported on boats and other recreational equipment.

By law, boaters are required to drain all of the water from their boat and on-board receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of freshwater. Then, boaters must clean and dry their boats. These rules apply to all types of boats, whether they are powered or not. First incident fines can reach up to $500.

“Cleaning, draining and drying really doesn’t take much time – it’s a few simple steps that boaters can take to prevent these infestations,” TPWD’s Aquatic Invasive Species lead Monica McGarrity said. “There are more than 1,500 boat ramps in Texas and we can’t be everywhere, so we have to rely on boaters, marinas and concerned citizens to help in this fight.”

With the addition of Lake Travis, 11 lakes in four river basins are now classified as infested, meaning they have an established, reproducing population – Belton, Bridgeport, Dean Gilbert (a 45-acre Community Fishing Lake in Sherman), Eagle Mountain, Lewisville, Randell, Ray Roberts, Stillhouse Hollow, Texoma and Canyon.

Studies speculate it could cost a million dollars to retrofit a hydro-electric dam to defend against the mussels, but the LCRA isn’t worried about that — yet.

“We’d prefer not to have them but at the same time it’s not the end of the world for us in the Colorado river basin,” said John Hofmann, VP of Water for the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The intakes for the Highland Lakes’ dams will likely be spared because of the deep water. Zebra mussels can’t survive the low-oxygen levels below 25 feet. So we’ll see more damage to boats, docks, ramps and shallow water pipes. There’s no cost-effective way to kill them, so it’s up to the many boaters on Lake Travis to clear them from their boats.

“It’s literally the only way that we know we can stop them from spreading,” said Hofmann.

We also reached out to Austin Water, because their new treatment facility — water treatment plant #4 — gets your water from Lake Travis.

A spokesperson tells KXAN they have not seen any zebra mussels yet. They have filters on the intake pumps, they clean those pumps and inspect them every year. The next inspection is this fall. If they do find them, they have a mechanism that stops them from latching on to the intake pipeline.

State lawmakers provided funding to help stop the spread. In 2013, the legislature approved more than a million dollars to combat all invasive species in Texas.

Two years later, they raised that funding to more than $6 million. Texas Parks and Wildlife launched an awareness campaign, including pamphlets like this to give boaters tips on ways to stop the spread.

The campaign pounds three points home: Clean, Drain and Dry. Boaters are supposed to clean their boats after leaving a lake. They also have to drain out all the water and dry the boat off before heading out to another lake. It’s not just a suggestion, it’s the law.




*  Story Contributed by: Dave Byknish and Phil Prazan



[edit]



Lake Travis News


How Zebra Mussels Will Change Austin Lakes (And Maybe Barton Springs) Forever

Aug 17, 2017

1,463 Readers

Man seriously injured after 20 to 30 foot fall from cliff at Lake Travis

Aug 13, 2017

1,115 Readers

Lakeway City Park adds life jacket loaner station

Aug 11, 2017

862 Readers

Boater dies after hitting Lake Travis shoreline

Aug 1, 2017

1,264 Readers

No serious injuries after plane crashes into water at Lake Travis

Jul 22, 2017

1,245 Readers

Man injured in 30-foot fall over rocks at Hippie Hollow

Jul 15, 2017

956 Readers

Tow boat owner says plane wheels were down when it flipped into lake

Jul 13, 2017

1,104 Readers

Lady Bird Lake vegetation at risk after ‘mass migration’ of carp

Jul 11, 2017

902 Readers

Lake Travis ‘infested’ with invasive, damaging zebra mussels

Jun 27, 2017

995 Readers

Scuba divers scoop for lake trash after Memorial Day festivities

May 30, 2017

1,782 Readers

Here’s why you can’t swim in Lady Bird Lake. Wait — you can’t swim in Lady Bird Lake?

Aug 8, 2017

1,129 Readers

5 Ways to Try Paddleboarding in Austin

Aug 4, 2017

990 Readers

Why Is Hippie Hollow Clothing-Optional?

Jul 31, 2017

1,215 Readers

JAWS on the Water - Friday, June 30th

Jun 27, 2017

1,749 Readers

Memorial Day Weekend watercraft ban on Lake Austin

May 25, 2017

1,873 Readers

Travis County officials prep for Memorial Day weekend on Lake Travis

May 23, 2017

1,681 Readers

West Austin 4-H Offers Opportunities Beyond Just Raising Animals

Aug 9, 2016

7,423 Readers

Large Crowds Expected at Lake Travis For Holiday Weekend

Jul 1, 2016

9,257 Readers

Lady Bird Lake businesses back open for Father’s Day

Jun 19, 2016

6,861 Readers

Boats allowed back on Lady Bird Lake starting noon Thursday

Jun 16, 2016

7,600 Readers

Lake Buchanan rises nearly 8 inches due to rain

Aug 8, 2017

1,415 Readers

One floodgate open at Starcke Dam

Aug 7, 2017

1,249 Readers

Driving on RM 620, I see islands sticking out of the lake. Is the drought returning?

Jul 14, 2017

1,799 Readers

West Travis Co. residents clean up after heavy storms

Apr 3, 2017

2,306 Readers

WATCH | Possible tornado/water spout spotted on Lake Travis

Apr 3, 2017

2,875 Readers

Aerosols Strengthen Storm Clouds, According to New Study

Jun 14, 2016

7,329 Readers

National Weather Service : Why You Shouldn’t Drive During a Flood

Jun 10, 2016

7,421 Readers

LCRA will be in flood management mode for coming weeks

Jun 4, 2016

7,786 Readers

How high could Lake Travis rise near Austin?

Jun 3, 2016

7,747 Readers

LCRA stands ready as more rain is expected in Central Texas

Jun 2, 2016

8,275 Readers

City looking for help to curb storm drain pollution

Aug 5, 2017

1,210 Readers

Apache Shores features waterfront views, trails, park

Jul 14, 2017

1,010 Readers

10-year Mansfield Dam rehabilitation project will keep Austin safe

Apr 27, 2017

923 Readers

Overflowing Lake Travis isn't all bad news for businesses

Jun 8, 2016

7,173 Readers

Lake Travis High School Graduation cut short

Jun 8, 2016

7,764 Readers

A full Lake Travis boosts local businesses

May 26, 2016

7,186 Readers

Texas lake businesses booming again after long drought

May 12, 2016

9,054 Readers

Lakeway’s Schmidt Family Barbecue restaurant to shutter its doors by fall

May 11, 2016

7,321 Readers

Lake Travis Fire Rescue begins fleet overhaul

May 6, 2016

8,070 Readers

Gnarly Gar fighting to stay in new building on Lake Travis marina

Apr 19, 2016

4,802 Readers

Modern guesthouse tower adds space, views to lakeside cabin

Sep 28, 2017

721 Readers

A Striking Sanctuary in Texas Inspired by a Sand Dollar

Aug 8, 2017

1,046 Readers

Contemporary Architectural Masterpiece on Lake Austin

Jul 30, 2017

1,060 Readers

Lake Austin mansion with a Romeo and Juliet balcony, including dramatic backstory

Jul 28, 2017

840 Readers

Midcentury-modern home overlooks Lake Austin, Pennybacker Bridge

May 27, 2016

7,076 Readers

Lake Travis Waterfront Retreat Offered by Heritage Luxury Real Estate Auctions

May 18, 2016

7,362 Readers

In Lago Vista, big dreams for $68 million ranch property

May 14, 2016

7,423 Readers

This Texas Barn Mansion on Lake Travis is Out of This World

May 6, 2016

8,640 Readers

Rockmoor Estate $35 million Austin mansion up for sale

Apr 19, 2016

4,540 Readers

Windy Point is for sale!

Jan 13, 2016

5,759 Readers



News Archives 2017 - Select a Month

« December 2016  

January 2018 »  




bottom