TPWD mussels proposal ready

September 28, 2013

In the state’s ongoing effort to combat the spread of invasive zebra mussels, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved for public comment new proposed rules requiring all boats operating on public water in 17 Northeast Texas counties be drained after use.

Part of this regulation includes where you cannot transport baitfish from one reservoir to another. Personally caught live bait could only be used in the water body where it was caught, and no off-site tournament weigh-ins would be allowed if live fish are being transported off a body of water in one of the affected counties.

Possum Kingdom and Granbury are impacted.

More recently, zebra mussels have spread to Lake Bridgeport on the West Fork of the Trinity River and into Lake Lewisville. 

They can expand their range even farther by hitching a ride on trailered boats that have been immersed in waters where they have established populations.

The rapidly reproducing mussels, originally from Eurasia, can have serious economic and recreational impact to Texas reservoirs. They can clog public-water intake pipes, harm boats and motors left in infested waters by covering boat hulls, clog water-cooling systems, annoy boat-dock owners by completely covering anything left under water, and make water recreation hazardous because of their sharp edges.

From an environmental perspective, zebra mussels are filter feeders, which mean they compete with baitfish such as shad for available forage.

Zebra mussels are also very harmful to native mussel populations because they will colonize on their shells and essentially suffocate them.

Under the proposed regulations, persons leaving or approaching public water in the affected counties will be required to drain all water from their vessel. Applicable in all areas where boats can be launched, the regulation would require the draining of live wells, bilges, motors, and any other receptacles or water intake systems coming into contact with public waters.

Anglers would be allowed to transport and use commercially purchased live bait in water provided they have a receipt that identifies the source of the bait. Any live bait purchased from a location on or adjacent to a public water body that is transported in water from that water body could only be used as bait on that same water body.

There is an exception for governmental activities and emergencies. Marine sanitary systems would not be covered by the new regulations.

The public can comment on the proposed rules online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201311_water_draining.phtml. Comments may also be made in writing to Ken Kurzawski, TPWD Inland Fisheries, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744, by email at [email protected], or in person at any of the following three public hearings.

All meetings begin at 7 pm.

Tuesday, October 1 in Fort Worth at Cabela’s, 12901 Cabelas Drive.  

Tuesday, October 8 in Denison at the Denison SNAP Center, 531 West Chestnut.

Wednesday, October 9 in Garland at Bass Pro Shops, 5001 Bass Pro Drive.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take action on the proposed change at its November 7 meeting.

Hood County Fishing Report

The lake is still about 7.5 feet low. White bass fishing continues to be good to excellent. Black bass anglers continue to do well on soft plastics.

Squaw Creek black bass are hit-and-miss, but any cooling should help to turn them on. Deep diving crankbaits are a favorite of many.

Hybrid action on Benbrook slowed some with the cool snap. Live bait is best choice.

Stripers continue to bite on Possum Kingdom on the lower ends on live bait. Slabs are effective as well.

[email protected] |817-578-0023

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Category: Sports Archived