Lake Texoma

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City of Duncan, Oklahoma, fights zebra mussels


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

Texas Parks and Wildlife encourages Texas residents to clean, drain and dry their boats after several lakes in Texas have become victims of the invasive species, zebra mussels. Texas Parks and Wildlife first discovered the mussels near the Oklahoma border in Lake Texoma in 2009.

Now the City of Duncan is looking to take the steps to prevent a zebra mussels infestation before Duncan Lakes share the same fate.

The City of Duncan asks boat owners in the area to remove any aquatic plant life clinging to the hull of the boat, lift boats entirely out of the water using a boatlift, scrape the zebra mussels from the hull of the boat using a putty knife or any tool with a wide blade, wash the boat using hot soapy water, use a garden hose with a powerful spray or put your boat on a trailer and run it through a car wash to remove remaining zebra mussels and residue, flush zebra mussels from the engine by clamping a motor flusher onto the engine by attaching a garden hose and running the engine for 10 minutes, leave boats out of the water and in the sun and if possible to thoroughly dry it. The mussels thrive best in water or in humid air.

Compare the City’s “request” with Texas’ law. I wonder how many boaters will comply with the City’s request.

According to the Oklahoma Wildlife Department, Kerr Reservoir, Keystone Lake, Skiatook Lake, Oologah Lake, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Kaw Lake, Lake Eufaula, Sooner Lake and Lake Texoma are all Oklahoma lakes infested with the mussels along with Lake Hefner which was discovered to be infested in Nov. 2016.


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