GEORGETOWN, Texas – Zebra mussels have been found in Lake Georgetown, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists confirm.

TPWD said biologists confirmed the infestation in the nearly 1,300-acre lake after larvae were found in routine water samples Oct. 27. A follow-up survey on Nov. 6 “revealed young settled zebra mussels attacked to rocks along the shoreline.”

“This is very unfortunate news because as recently as spring 2017 all routine plankton samples have tested negative for zebra mussel larvae and we hadn’t found any juveniles or adults,” said Brian Van Zee, TPWD inland fisheries regional director, in a statement. “It just goes to show how rapidly zebra mussels can colonize and establish themselves in our lakes once they are introduced.”

TPWD said their biologists will work with the Brazos River Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to establish signage, monitor the spread of zebra mussels in the lake and downstream at Granger Lake. It is illegal to possess or transport zebra mussels, dead or alive. Boaters are required to drain all water from their boat and onboard receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water in order to prevent zebra mussels from being transported to and from those bodies of water. “The requirement to drain applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not: personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks/canoes or any other vessel used on public waters,” TPWD said. The department added, “Boaters and property owners at all affected and nearby lakes are encouraged to keep an eye out and report any zebra mussel sightings to TPWD.”

TPWD also said Monday that Lake Livingston along the Trinity River has also been infested with zebra mussels. Four Texas reservoirs have become infested with zebra mussels in 2017, including Lake Travis, and a total of 13 Texas lakes have zebra mussel infestations.