COLLIN COUNTY -- Texas Parks & Wildlife officials and a North Texas water district are urging boaters to help stop the spread of zebra mussels.
The groups launched a public awareness campaign at Lake Lavon.
But will it work?
The program is aimed at boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats.
They want to stop the mussels from entering other Texas waters via boats or trailers.
Texas Parks and Wildlife officials held a news conference at the Collin Park Marina at Lake Lavon Thursday morning.
They demonstrated the proper way to clean, drain & dry boats.
Last week new state regulations took place requiring boats and all on board containers completely drained of water before traveling on public roadways.
"It has caused a loss of 28% of our supply for the North Texas Municipal Water District,” said Denise Hickey, District spokesperson. “So it's critical that each and every one if us begin the steps of cleaning, draining and drying our boats properly.”
Minnesota started a similar education campaign 20 years ago. That state has zebra mussels in at least 67 lakes and 10 rivers. Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources officials say since it only takes one person to spread the mussels, it's impossible to control.
"Anything we can do today to slow it is saving minions of dollars,” said Brian Van Zee, of the Texas Parks & Wildlife inland fisheries division. “Is Parks & Wildlife expectations that we can completely stop it in the state? We hope so. But also, realistically, I don't know. I can't say it will be. But we have to try."
Heidi Wolf, who runs Minnesota's boat inspection program, believes their campaign did work to prevent zebra mussels from becoming an even bigger problem.
Texas officials want to prevent a repeat of what happened in the state known as "the land of ten thousand lakes."