Posted: Jul 4, 2014 10:49 AM
Updated: Jul 4, 2014 10:49 AM
CONROE, Texas (AP) A sharp fingernail-size shellfish pest that's been advancing steadily across much of the eastern and central parts of the country now has a foothold in Texas where it's changing the way recreational users are playing with their water toys.
New regulations that took effect statewide this week are aimed at easing the spread of the invasive zebra mussels species in Texas rivers and lakes. The mussels attach themselves to almost anything in the water and then multiply, upsetting the ecology of the lake or river.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is now requiring boaters and other watercraft users to drain their vessels, rinse them and dry them so mussels can't hitch a ride to new territories. Violating the rule could cost up to a $500 fine.