New Texas Parks and Wildlife Boat Regulations

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

DENISON, TX -- Boaters on Lake Texoma now have some new rules to follow; all in an effort to stop the spread of zebra mussels.

Starting Thursday, May 17, it's against state law to leave the lake without cleaning, drain or drying your boats or equipment.

Because of the invasion of zebra mussels in many Texas lakes including Lake Texoma. A new regulation has been passed that requires boat owners and anglers too clean their boats and equipment before leaving the lake.

Something boat owners we talked too say they do anyway.

Game Wardens will begin enforcing the law, in hopes of preventing the spread of this invasive species throughout Texas.

"There's an immature form of the mussel is called a veliger, it a small swimming form. You can't see it, it's microscopic, so that's why we have to drain all the water," said John Mocyzemba, Texas Parks and Wildlife Fisheries Biologist.

Parks and Wildlife officers have been trying to promote awareness of the zebra mussel for years now, installing buoys that remind boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats.

So, most people are already used to the practice.

"Its part of a marketing campaign to keep zebra mussels in the mind of the people. And to let them know that they're still here and they're not going away and it allows us to initiate another step to prevent the spread," said Mocyzemba.

Marina owners say they are not worried about how the new regulation will affect their customers.

"I don't think the new regulation draining and dying the boats will have an impact on the marinas... Ya know a lot of the boaters that come to marinas are here to stay," said Jason Cottingame, Grandpappy Marina General Manager.

The new law applies to the Red River from the I-44 bridge in Wichita County all the way to the Arkansas border, including Lake Texoma and Lake Lavon.


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