It's a matter of time before zebra mussels arrive in Lewisville Lake

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:37 PM

LEWISVILLE LAKE - State and federal officials say it's inevitable; zebra mussels will eventually make their way into Lewisville Lake, which is the main source for the Dallas water supply.

The Fort Worth Region Army Corps Commander is not optimistic.

Lake Ray Roberts flows into Lewisville Lake. Zebra mussels have made their way into Ray Roberts.

The two lakes were built to control flooding and to create a water supply. As a result, there's no way to stop water releases Ray Roberts.

"Lake Ray Roberts is just upstream from Lewisville Lake," said Texas Parks & Wildlife biologist Rafael Brock. "So there's a big concern that in the next year or two, there will be an adult population infestation here on Lewisville."

The US Army Corps of Engineers and Texas Parks & Wildlife department are worried, so they're stepping up prevention efforts at Lewisville Lake.

"The concern is definitely heightened," said U.S. Army Corps regional commander Charles Klinge. "And that's why we're taking extra precautions to make sure if they come out of there, we haven't found anything, we're making sure we're doing all the preventative measures we can."

That includes a campaign to make sure boaters clean, drain and dry their vessels. Signs urging prevention will go up soon.

The idea is to buy time, so water providers in Dallas and Denton can prepare for the invasion.

"There's just no way to effectively stop water from flowing From Ray Roberts into Lewisville," Brock said.

Even though there are no zebra mussels in Lewisville Lake yet, It's still against the law for any boat to leave the lake with water aboard. That new rule apples to three other North Texas lakes as well -- Texoma, Lavon and Ray Roberts. Anyone who does can be fined up to $500.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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