Zebra mussels, a small, invasive, fresh-water mollusk, originated in Eurasia and made their way to the United States in the 1980s by way of the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels have since migrated south, entering Texas in 2009 through Lake Texoma. The rapidly reproducing zebra mussel can have serious economic, environmental and recreational impacts on Texas reservoirs. Zebra mussels can clog public-water intake pipes, harm boats and motors left in infested waters, completely cover anything left under water and litter beaches with their sharp shells.
Found in the Trinity River in 2013, zebra mussels have spread throughout the Trinity River basin affecting many water bodies including Lake Livingston. The lake was classified as positive in 2016 when four adult zebra mussels were found attached to settlement samplers that were placed in three areas within the lake. In 2017, the classification was upgraded to infested after further research confirmed a reproducing population in the lake.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has developed a campaign to raise awareness and help stop the spread of zebra mussels in Texas lakes by encouraging boaters to clean, drain and dry their boat after leaving any water body. Campaign partners include, the Trinity River Authority, Tarrant Regional Water District, city of Dallas, North Texas Municipal Water District, Sabine River Authority, Brazos River Authority, San Jacinto River Authority, Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, Lower Colorado River Authority, Coastal Water Authority, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District.
Zebra Mussels Discovered in Lake Livingston: https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20160629b
Lake Livingston Upgraded to Infested: https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20171113a