Somebody or some body at Texas Parks and Wildlife wasn’t thinking too clearly when they passed the rule requiring boats be drained before leaving public-use water.
While it sounds all very fine and would appear to help mitigate the spread of zebra mussels in the state, it is, in fact, merely delaying the inevitable.
Boat owners and operators are being told they need to drain all water from their boats before they depart. Fine. They are told they can’t take bait away from the water body if it was caught there. Fine. Fish will end up having to be cleaned at the ramp or in the area since live fish need water to survive a trip home for cleaning there. Fine. But what about two other little problems TPW didn’t address.
Here at Possum Kingdom Lake, let’s just say a game warden asks a boater it he drained his boat after it was trailered.
“No, I’m going to such-and-such marina.”
OK, that’s allowed as long as it’s at PK Lake. But suppose this boater changes his mind and decides to return home instead. The question is, how can this be enforced?
The other dirty little secret is water release. If a lake becomes infested with zebra mussels, what happens if water is released downstream? It is glaringly apparent that the Brazos River Authority is not going to stop releasing water from reservoirs if that water is needed to satisfy demands. Then, how much good is the unenforceable drain law going to do?
We’re not saying the drain law is bad, what we’re advocating is considerably more thought into how zebra mussels can be controlled and eventually the threat removed. Perhaps the drain rule can be called “a beginning,” but it sounds more like a knee-jerk reaction — let’s do something.
Hopefully, scientists are trying to come up with a way to eliminate the invasive specie. Unfortunately, like golden algae, the answer might be years in coming.
Perhaps that is the answer … golden algae, it seems to kill everything else.