Breaking News
More () »

TPWD urging boaters to 'clean, drain and dry' to stop spread of invasive species

TPWD urges boaters to remove all plants, mud and debris from boats.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's Memorial Day weekend, and more people heading out to lakes and rivers to cool down on the water.

Shawn Smith, the owner of Austin Rental Boats, said it's a busy weekend for his business.

"The three biggest weekends of the year: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Those are our big weekends. And luckily, the weather turned out to be really good."

With more boats in the water, Texas Parks and Wildlife is reminding people to clean, drain and dry their boats.

"We are dealing with a lot of different invasive species," said TPWD Inland Fisheries Regional Director Brian Van Zee. "One of the primary ways that those invasive species are moved, not only into the state but also from one lake to the next within Texas, is by the movement and transportation of those invasive species in boats and trailers."

RELATED: Boat safety and water regulation reminders for Memorial Day weekend

Giant Salvinia is one highly invasive species currently present on 23 East Texas lakes and numerous rivers.

"It forms really thick, dense mats of vegetation that'll... cover up entire coves and areas of the reservoir," said Van Zee. "It'll be so thick you can't get a boat through it, and it completely blocks out all sunlight."

Zebra muscles are another invasive species. The species has quickly spread through many lakes due to its microscopic larvae that are easily transported by boats and other watercraft without one knowing.

"They tend they attach to a lot of the hard surfaces within a reservoir," added Van Zee. "Whether that be boats, trailers, docks, but also, these water intake structures or the control the gates on the dams of the reservoirs and that kind of thing."

RELATED: Boat sharing service offers 'experiences' on Lake Travis

TPWD urges boaters to remove all plants, mud and debris from boats. Also, drain bait buckets and other receptacles inside the boat.

Van Zee said if you can't dry your boat for at least a week before entering another body of water, then rinse it off to stop the spread of these invasive species.

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


FDA investigating hepatitis A outbreak possibly linked to strawberries sold at H-E-B

Woman kills man who fired rifle into crowd during party in West Virginia

Fort Worth cyclists rescue dog stuck on bridge

Before You Leave, Check This Out