Texas Parks and Wildlife has released a news update on a new boat-draining rule to decrease the spread of zebra mussels.
Attention all boaters: the update says all "boaters must drain all water from their boat and on-board receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water anywhere in Texas." The regulation will begin July 1.
In order to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels, this new rule is a must.
What about bait?
Anglers will not be allowed to use live bait from another body of water than the one they are fishing. It is OK to use live bait from the same body of water. If you want to use commercial bait, keep the receipt because it will need to be identified as from the correct body of water so as to limit water contamination.
How about tournaments?
If you have fished a tournament, what do you need to know about transporting live fish? It is completely fine to transport them on-site to the weigh-in location, but before leaving the tournament the water must be completely drained from the live fish container. Additionally, there needs to be proof of tournament participation.
As long as your boat remains at the same site or location, there is no need to drain the boat or other receptacles. Only if there is transportation from one body of water to another.
There is a litany of organizations around Texas that are working to prevent the spread of zebra mussels, which are not native to Texas waters. Texas Invasives says that zebra mussels are incredibly destructive; they kill aquatic life, harm natural water supplies and damage boats. Additionally they can hinder outdoor recreation. Needless to say, they need to cease spreading and we can do something to ensure that.
Visit the TPWD site for more information.
Featured image via National Park Service