Zebra Mussel Buoys

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LAKE TEXOMA-- J.D. Lyle has been a fishing guide on Lake Texoma for over a decade.

"I guess, I noticed it a year or two ago. It seemed liked, when it first got here, you would see them all over the place."

Zebra Mussels were first confirmed in Lake Texoma in April of 2009. Since that time, Texas Parks and Wildlife have tried many different ways to get rid of the invasive species. But have had no luck.

They started a new campaign this year "Clean, drain, and dry your boat," and this week, they're adding a new element.

"We are putting out buoys to advise boaters of Zebra Mussels infestation and to remind them to clean, drain and dry their boats, as they leave Lake Texoma," explained, Bruce Hysmith, Biologist with TP&W.

One side of the Buoy says, "warning zebra mussels hide here." Just like on boats, rocks and docks, they expect mussels to attach to the buoys and multiply.

And as quickly as they spread they can cause serious damage, like taking small nutrients out of the ecosystem, leading to the decline in the fish population, along with ruining boat engines.

Hysmith said these bouys are a visual way to inform lake users about those hazards..and use caution not to take the little pests with them to other waterways.

"We are putting out 37 buoys, at all the ramps on the public ramps on the Texas side. Some ramps have one buoy, some ramps have three. It just depends on how much area they cover."

Lyle said the buoys are a good idea, but isn't sure anyone can actually stop the spread of zebra mussels.

"Whether or not, they can actually control it, I don't know. My honest opinion is no, it's not going to be controlled and they are going to show up in other places, if they aren't already there."