GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – Zebra mussels, an invasive species, have been discovered by officials with the U.S. Geological Survey in Grapevine Lake.

A juvenile zebra mussel was found on June 22 in the southern end of the reservoir. Officials say it appears it’s a new introduction, and the USGS and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be monitoring the lake closely.

Zebra mussel (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

Officials say zebra mussels “can have serious economic, recreational and environmental impacts on Texas reservoirs and rivers.” Zebra mussels can harm other aquatic species, affect clarity of water, clog water intakes, litter beaches with sharp shells and damage boats and motors in the water.

“With the boating season in full swing and the busy Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, it’s very important for all boaters to understand that if they are going to be enjoying the lake they need to clean, drain and dry their boat and equipment every time they leave the water – it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the law,” said Brian Van Zee, TPWD Inland Fisheries Regional Director.

It is against the law to possess or transport zebra mussels, dead or alive. Boaters are also required to drain all water from their boats before leaving or approaching fresh water to prevent the transfer of zebra mussels or other invasive species.

“Zebra mussels shouldn’t deter anyone from visiting and enjoying the water this summer,” said Van Zee. “But preventing the spread of zebra mussels needs to be a priority for everyone –regardless of which lake you’re visiting. Please remember your wet equipment should be properly cleaned, drained and dried after use and if you are moving your boat from a slip on a lake known to have zebra mussels, then please contact TPWD at (512) 389-4848 or email aquaticinvasives@tpwd.texas.gov so we can provide guidance and support to reduce the risk of spreading zebra mussels.”