Clean your boat, save your
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Invasive species, plants or animals that find their
way to new places they don’t belong and cause economic,
environmental or ecological damage, have wreaked havoc
throughout the U.S.
Texas is home to a number of aquatic invasive species. Two
species in particular are at the top of the most-wanted list:
zebra mussels and giant salvinia.
Courtesy Photo Larry D. Hodge, © Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department
Zebra mussels are small, less than 1 ˝ inches long as adults,
and currently exist in Lake Texoma and in West Prong Sister
Grove Creek above Lake Lavon.
Zebra mussels hitchhike their way from lake to lake on boats and
boat trailers. Zebra mussels, once they invade, attach
themselves to almost any underwater object and quickly form
large colonies on rocks, boat hulls, boat docks, pipes or even
They can make water recreation dangerous because of their
razor-sharp edges, harm boats and motors, damage public-water
intake structures and alter aquatic ecosystems to the detriment
of native species and sport fish.
Giant salvinia, first found in Texas in 1997, is a free-floating
fern that can double in size in just a few days and can form
mats up to three feet thick.
Read more in The Monitor in stands now.