Zebra Mussels

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Monday that reproducing populations of zebra mussels have been found in Lake Lyndon B. Johnson and Lake Pflugerville – bringing the total number of statewide lakes infested with the invasive species to 17.

Zebra mussels
Chase Fountan / Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Invasive zebra mussels continue their takeover of Texas lakes and waterways: They've now spread to four more lakes in Central Texas, pushing the boundary of their southern expansion.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin's water utility says it's continuing to flush out water lines tainted with foul-smelling water that has plagued residents since last Thursday

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The zebra mussel stench plaguing residents' faucets should be gone in the next couple of days, the Austin Water Department said Monday.

Ángelo González / Wikimedia Commons

It's now been three days of smelly tap water for large parts of Austin, likely caused by the presence of zebra mussels in a water line. The city's water utility is asking customers to call 311 and report their location if they are still experiencing issues. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Twenty-four hours later, Austin Water says it's still unsure when the odd smell coming from tap water in certain parts of the city will dissipate. The water utility said yesterday morning it would resolve the issue within a day, but that estimate has come and gone and it's unclear what the timeline is going forward.

Wikimedia Commons

Divers have found large amounts of invasive zebra mussels at intake pipes that feed Austin’s water supply, opening up a costly new challenge for the city’s water utility.

alligator gar
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

From Texas Standard:

When you hit Texas’ lakes and rivers this summer, be mindful of the fact that you may be sharing the water with dinosaurs. I’m talking about gar here, a gigantic fish that dates back to the cretaceous period but still stalks Texas waterways. Its numbers declined during the 20th century due to overfishing and dammed rivers. But that didn’t upset most people. The gar doesn’t have the best reputation around these parts – and changing that might be the best way to save them.

Chase Fountain/TPWD

“Infested” is not a word you want to hear in reference to anything. But that’s exactly the word the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is using to describe Lake Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Anglers come from all over the world to fish Lake Fork, a 27,000-acre lake in east Texas with a reputation for producing monster fish. And in their quest to land a lunker, those fishermen also sustain the local economy. Which is why a new species in the lake has caused quite a bit of concern. And it’s not a species of fish, but a plant – an invasive floating fern called giant salvinia.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The invasive zebra mussel has been moving south for years, leaving destruction its wake. Now, it’s in Lake Travis (update: and Lake Austin), and it will soon make its way downstream, changing the look, feel and maybe even the taste of Austin’s lakes forever.

Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

In 2016, Texas was one of the fastest growing states in the country, adding almost a half-million people in a year’s time. With growth like that, securing future water supplies will become critical, so Sen. Ted Cruz filed a bill to loosen regulations around importing water from other states. The idea is to make it easier for Texas to buy water from its neighbors. But some worry it could lead to environmental destruction.

Ana Ramirez/Victoria Advocate

From Texas Standard:

Texas oyster reefs have taken a beating over the past several years. It started with Hurricane Ike in 2008, followed by drought and then flooding. Now the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is making some changes to how oysters are fished in Texas waters.

 

Larry D. Hodge, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

As the invasive and annoying zebra mussel pops up in a sixth Texas lake, state wildlife commissioners are getting ready to vote on new rules that would require boaters in Central Texas counties to clean, drain and dry their boats whenever they take them out of the water, whether the boat has a motor or not. 

Texas Parks & Wildlife announced Tuesday that zebra mussels were found in  Lake Lavon, one of the largest lakes in North Texas. The invasive species was first discovered in Texas in 2006 and was already found in Lakes Texoma, Ray Roberts, Lewisville, Bridgeport and Belton.