(SHERMAN, TEXAS) -- Area lake officials will soon be enforcing new zebra mussel rules in Texas' ongoing effort to combat the spread of the invasive species.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved new rules requiring all boats operating on public water in 17 Texas counties be drained after use to help stop the spread of zebra mussels.
Zebra mussels were first found in Lake Texoma in 2009, since then they've been expanding their reach to neighboring lakes by hitching rides on boats and trailers and when people don't properly drain their boats the fast-reproducing invasive species hitch a ride to the next lake.
Bill Reedy says, " they stick to anything..and they can live. We've had boats come up from up north..down here and they'll live through a blizzard on the side of those boats and get here and still be alive."
That's why the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved new rules in an effort to slow down the expansion of zebra mussels.
Bruce Hysmith says " will be required to drain all water from their vessel..no matter how small the container..they can have no standing water."
Bill Reedy owns a boat fiberglass shop and boat wash. He says he's no stranger to the damaging effects of zebra mussels.
Bill Reedy says " they'll stop up your outlets..they'll stop up your generator and make it overheat and quit..it'll stop up your water systems and everything else on a boat..you have to get them out of there."
Bruce Hysmith with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission says the effects of zebra mussels stretch farther than damaging boats, " it can make hazardous recreation ..make recreation hazardous because the edges of this little shell are razor sharp.