New Boating Rule July 1st to fight spread of mussels - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

New Boating Rule July 1st to fight spread of mussels

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(KYTX) -- We're in for great boating weather this weekend.. But before you head out, there's a new rule starting next week you need to know about.

CBS 19's Jaime Gerik is live at Lake Tyler with the new rule that will help keep a damaging species from invading our lakes and rivers. 

"We don't need them here. No one needs them," J.R. Reed, a boater in Tyler, said. 

He's out on Lake Tyler about once a week, and already uses good sense with his boat.

"Everytime I come out I drain mine right there. I never take the chance," Reed said.

Reed means never taking the chance with zebra mussels -- an invasive species that so far-- haven't shown up in Smith County. And it'll be up to the public to keep it that way. 

"All boaters in the state of Texas will be required to drain their boat, whether they are leaving public water or entering public water before they get to it," Brad Clark, a Smith County Game Warden, said.

It's all to get rid of adult zebra mussels -- and their larvae which may be harder to see. Clark explains these creatures reproduce rapidly-- and attach to docks, boats, you name it.  And it could end up costing you.

"They can cause boats to overheat and ruin your motor because they'll clog up your cooling system on your boat motor," Clark said.

The bad news is these pests have been spotted already-- in water nearby.  

"Once zebra mussels are in the lakes it's impossible to remove them," Clark said.

Violators face a Class C misdemeanor charge, which can carry a fine up to $500.

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