One of the great gems of the panhandle is Lake Meredith, If you happen to head out there, it's a great place to catch a flick this summer or even just spend the day. It's waters offer excellent fishing opportunity. There happens to be one threat that could take all of that away.

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There is an invasive species that has been slowly working it's way across the lone star state waterways and for many experts, its not a matter of if Lake Meredith will get these pests but when.

Meet the Zebra Mussel

Zebra Mussels have shown up in many lakes across North and Central Texas and what makes these little boogers a pain is their size. They aren't big but they cause a lot of damage because the nature of what they attach to which looking at the golfball below is pretty much anything including municipal pipes and water intakes which costs them money to remove leading to higher water bills. Don't we pay enough already?

Courtesy USGS/USGS.gov

These pests aren't edible so it's not a matter of eating the problem away, In fact there's no real natural predator that takes care of these guys. They don't really respond to chemicals which given that many of the lakes here in Texas including Lake Meredith function as water supplies the idea of contamination doesn't sit well with many folks. Another reason to keep them out is they are sharp when they are open, like stepping on glass along the shoreline and who needs that?

Clean Drain and Dry

It's not completely hopeless and one of the reasons you see signs on lakes asking to clean drain and dry your boats is to stop the spread of zebra mussels. They do need water to transport and without this they are done. Many boaters don't take these extra precautions and that is what transports mussels from lake to lake. Texas Parks and Wildlife actually does a great job explaining and they got just the video for it complete with 50's kitsch music:

I love a good day out on the lake and a few extra minutes won't kill you and if we're lucky we might just be able to keep Zebra Mussels out of the lakes and rivers we love here in the Panhandle.

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