Waco responds to Lake Belton zebra mussel infestation - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Waco responds to Lake Belton zebra mussel infestation

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WACO -

With Lake Belton being infected with zebra mussels, surrounding Central Texas lakes are at a greater risk.

That's according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife. This is the first time zebra mussels have been found in the Brazos River Basin and it's nearly 200 miles south of any other infested lake in Texas.

While the water from Lakes Belton and Stillhouse Hollow do not feed into places like Lake Waco, it's still concerning. Any boat coming from lake to lake can transfer the invasive mollusk if the boat isn't cleaned, drained and dried.

However, the city of Waco did not take any chances once they heard about the infestation. They've been working for two years to put a plan in place in case a surrounding lake gets infested or they get infested.

"We also have a crew that was out here this morning within 24 hours of us getting notice that it was in a neighboring lake. We have our crews out walking the shoreline and looking for zebra mussels," watershed administrator Jenna Jones said.

The city of Waco went to 12 sites throughout the lake and did not find any zebra mussels. Officials also planned to look at one of the eight intakes on the lake to make sure they weren't infected as well.

The city has spent thousands throughout the summer through boat inspections and a public awareness campaign for zebra mussel prevention. However with all that effort, Jones says it's just a matter of time before the mussels spread.

Zebra mussels are now found in 29 states. Once established in a body of water, there is no known method for eradicating the mollusk.

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