Bats, birds and other Texas wildlife perished during the recent freeze - but not so the invasive and destructful Zebra Mussels. Texas Parks and Wildlife Scientist Monica McGarrity says they originated in a very cold climate, are found in the Great Lakes and are hearty. "They are prolific. Each female can produce over a million eggs in a single year. There's really nothing that can be done about them once they are in a lake."
McGarrity says they cause harm to docks, boats, and pipes- and that includes our infrastructure. She says Tx Parks and Wildlife has worked for years to eradicate them completely. "Preventing them from moving into a lake on another boat by cleaning and drying the boat is critical."
McGarrity explains why they lived through it. "There are native to Eurasia. They thrive in the Great Lakes. The cold isn't really a problem for them." Zebra Mussels are not only hard to get rid of, they are harmful to our lives. Says McGarrity: "Their primary impact is on our infrastructure. Utility, Water Control, Hydro-Water Electric, Water Intake, even Private Water Intake because they attach to every hard surface."
There is hope, though, that the freeze may have lessened the numbers of equally destructive Apple Snails.
Photo: Courtesy Texas parks and Wildlife