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No doubt from the many hundreds of bass boats touring known zebra mussel lakes on the trails. Those guys are in different bodies of water every weekend and never once seen one of them wiping their boat and live wells dry. I'll confess I don't wipe mine down but I only fish lake Travis. I haven't been on a different body of water in well over a year. Anyway it's not the end of the world. I was living on lake st Claire in the late 90's when the zebra mussels really started populating the lake. There were ups and downs about it on that lake and hopefully the same will be said about Travis in a few decades. St Claire got extremely clear due to their filtering the water. With the clear water the vegetation exploded and so did the fish population. I'm not saying they weren't a total pain in the ass I'm just saying there were a few upsides. Sort of like hydrilla I suppose but more of a pain in the ass for everyone.
 

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I hate to say it but I have to agree that fishermen are likely one of the leading causes of their spread. I too believe that we have a much greater propensity for puddle jumping than the average pleasure boater. Not casting blame, just my thoughts. It would be nice to see the tourney trails and local clubs pump the brakes on fishing tournaments at known infested locations. in the grand scheme of things it would probably not make a difference as I fear they are going to end up everywhere but from a PR perspective....

While it is true the ZMs improve water clarity which would generally lead to a better environment for vegetation growth, water clarity isnt the reason vegetation has never gained a foothold in Travis. Travis has the least stable water level of any lake in the chain. Any vegetation that does sprout can't get a foothold and colonize because the depth at which it thrives during growth months is never maintained.

I just can't come up with any positive spin for their presence in Travis. Dam/turbine maintenance costs will go up and LCRA will pass those costs on to electrical consumers. Intake/pump maintenance costs will go up and the controllilng authority will pass those costs on to water consumers. Marina maintenance costs will go up and they will pass those costs on to their customers. If the mussels do end up thriving (have heard the warmth of our climate may prevent this?), shorelines will be littered with their sharp shells. Most importantly though, countless good fish will be lost due to fishermen failing to notice the nick in their line caused by dragging their bait over them. Sorry, just a little levity there...didn't want to sound like Mr. Doom&Gloom. I don't think they're the end of the world but if they do end up thriving, I'm just not sure what, if any, good will come from it?

I'm actually more afraid of what our proven idiots might do to eradicate them. LOL
 

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All I know is that the fishing has improved at any lake where they are present.

Just look at our local example of Belton. They have been present in Belton for a few years now and this year, Belton is kicking out bigger tournament weights than I have ever observed. It isn't because of improved vegetation growth due to the mussels/water clarity. There is no vegetation in Belton. Something else about those mussels makes the fishing take off.
 
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