Zebra Mussels Confirmed in Lake Lavon Texas

| January 22, 2014

lake lavon zebra mussels TPWD public comment

conservation awareness for fly fishersAdd Lake Lavon to the list of Texas Lakes now confirmed to have the invasive, destructive and expensive zebra mussel in its waters.

A lake confirmed to have the zebra mussel DNA has thus far proven to be an accurate precursor to a future infestation, at least it has here in Texas lakes so far. Lavon had already come under the umbrella of regulations instituted by TPWD to prevent the spread of the DNA, but if you’ve kept up with all the articles here, you’ve already read how futile these efforts are.

FROM TPWD –

Texas Parks & WIldlifeThe presence of live zebra mussels or veligers, their larvae, has now been confirmed in six Texas water bodies: Lakes Texoma, Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Bridgeport, Belton, and Lavon.

A team of USGS scientists led by Dr. Christopher Churchill has been monitoring North Texas reservoirs and rivers for the presence of juvenile and adult zebra mussels as well as for the presence of zebra mussel DNA. Lake Lavon’s water samples recently tested positive for zebra mussel DNA and a veliger was also positively identified.

The USGS tests also detected zebra mussel DNA in lakes Grapevine, Fork and Tawakoni. This is the first detection of zebra mussel DNA in lakes Fork and Tawakoni. However, three consecutive surveys have detected zebra mussel DNA in Lake Grapevine making it highly suspect.

Dr. Robert McMahon, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington, says that while this news is of concern, he suspects that Lake Fork cannot sustain a zebra mussel population because of low levels of calcium, which the mussels use to construct their shells. He believes that Lake Tawakoni is likely more susceptible.

The finding of zebra mussel DNA in a lake does not necessarily mean that it is infested, but it may indicate that boaters are inadvertently moving zebra mussels or zebra mussel DNA from lake to lake. The USGS sample from Lake Fork was collected near the FM 17 boat ramp and the samples from Lake Tawakoni were collected near Lake Tawakoni State Park and South Shore Marina. The USGS will conduct a follow-up lake survey at Lake Lavon later this month and will resume routine sampling this spring at all areas that are currently monitored, which include lakes Texoma, Lavon, Ray Roberts, Ray Hubbard, Lewisville, Grapevine, Fork, Tawakoni and Palestine. The USGS also monitors several riverine areas including Sister Grove Creek, Elm Fork of the Trinity River, and Denton Creek.

MORE NEWS

In another bit of news, news that you can actually make, there’s a “Public Comment” form by TPWD now online. The gist of it is TPWD is proposing changes to the rules surrounding the zebra mussel – http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201401_water_draining.phtml. Personally, I find it interesting that they run public opinion polls during our absolute busiest personal time of the year, don’t you? It almost seems like they don’t want to even run the survey or have public participation. THE DEADLINE FOR THIS PUBLIC COMMENT IS TODAY! It’ll be interesting to see the statistics for participation and outcome of this one.

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Category: Science and Environmental, Zebra Mussels

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