Right now, our Texas lakes and rivers
are under attack by Zebra Mussels.

mussel_rulerIn Texas, Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Texoma are already infested — and without your help, Zebra Mussels will spread throughout the state.

What are Zebra Mussels?
Zebra Mussels are a small, destructive invasive species that can spread by hitching a ride on boats, trailers and gear. They grow to about 1 ½ inches and develop a distinctive zebra-striped shell. One Zebra Mussel can produce up to one million microscopic larvae. They can cause tremendous environmental and economic damage — harming boats and aquatic life, and even threatening your water supply.

It’s Illegal to Transport Zebra Mussels
We wanted to make sure you are aware that it is ILLEGAL to possess or transport Zebra Mussels– knowingly OR unknowingly in the state of Texas. The law imposes fines of up to $500 for the first incident (a Class C misdemeanor), and steeper fines with possible jail time, for subsequent offenses.

Unfortunately, you may be “in possession” of Zebra Mussels, and not even know it. That is because young Zebra Mussels in their larval stage can survive for days in water left in a boat or other gear and are invisible to the naked eye!

How to avoid breaking the law
You can take a few simple precautions to help ensure you are in compliance with the law.

  • CLEAN. Clean off any vegetation, mud or foreign objects on the boat, trailer and gear before you leave the lake

  • DRAIN. The law requires that boaters drain all water from the boat, including the motor, bilge, livewells and bait buckets — before leaving an infested lake.

  • DRY. Dry the boat, trailer and/or gear for a week or more before entering another water body. If unable to let it dry for at least a week, wash it with a high-pressure washer and hot (at least 140-degree), soapy water. 

 Watch this video to see how to effectively clean and/or decontaminate your boat.

Visit to find more on:

  • How to identify adult Zebra Mussels

  • The damage they cause to boats and how to clean/decontaminate your boat

  • Reporting a Zebra Mussel sighting 

  • How to request additional information

Thanks to the following Texas Parks and Wildlife campaign partners: Tarrant Regional Water District, Trinity River Authority, City of Dallas, North Texas Municipal Water District, City of Waco, Sabine River Authority, Brazos River Authority, City of Grapevine, San Jacinto River Authority, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, City of Houston, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, and Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

Hello Zebra Mussels. Goodbye Texas Lakes.

Zebra mussels are currently in Lake Texoma and Lake Ray Roberts in North Texas. They have also been found on isolated occasions in Lake Lavon, Lake Ray Hubbard, the Red River below Lake Texoma, the Elm Fork of the Trinity River below Lake Ray Roberts, and Sister Grove Creek.