COLEMAN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has designated Hords Creek Lake ‘infested’ with zebra mussels, an invasive species that has spread to 35 lakes in Texas.

When U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff found a zebra mussel on a dam in April, TPWD biologists followed up and found multiple classes of zebra mussels. The survey showed the presence of an established, reproducing population.

This invasive species found its way to west Texas when lakes O.H. Ivie and Brownwood were designated as infested in 2020 and 2021. Zebra mussels can cause harm to local ecosystems, attach to boats and pose troubles to boaters, as it is illegal to transport prohibited aquatic invasive species in Texas. This is punishable with a fine of up to $500.

“Unfortunately, zebra mussels have now spread to 35 Texas lakes, but there are far more lakes in Texas that still haven’t been invaded and are at risk,” said Brian Van Zee, TPWD Inland Fisheries regional director. “Each boater taking steps to clean and drain their boat before leaving the lake — and allowing compartments and gear to dry completely when they get home — can make a big difference in protecting our Texas lakes.”

TPWD advised boaters to drain all water from the boat, including bait buckets, before leaving or going to a water source. It is also required to remove all invasive plants from the boat and trailer before leaving a lake. Visit TPWD’s YouTube channel for information on how to clean boats and TPWD’s website to learn more about zebra mussels and other invasive species. Boaters who come across these are asked to call (512) 389-4848 to report the sighting to parks and wildlife.