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State Toughens Zebra Mussel Attack In 17 Counties

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A state commission has made permanent requirements for boaters to clean, dry and drain their watercraft before and after entering lakes and streams in 17 North Texas counties.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission voted without dissent Thursday in Austin to fix the requirements aimed at keeping invasive zebra mussels and their larvae from spreading.

Freshwater fisheries regulation coordinator Ken Kurzawski says Parks and Wildlife Department staff will begin drafting regulations extending to Bell and Coryell counties in Central Texas. That’s after zebra mussels were found in Lake Belton, about 130 miles south of Fort Worth, prompting an emergency “wash, dry and drain” order in September for Lake Belton, Stillhouse Hollow Lake and the Leon and Lampasas Rivers.

The species is also suspected of living in two additional North Texas lakes – Joe Pool and Lake Worth.

Kuzawski says the proposal will probably be published for public comment in December and go before commissioners in January.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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