At PPL Motorhomes, we all love our rivers and lakes. In fact most of us take our Houston RVs far out of the city limits to places where the main attraction is a river or lake. So, there is no doubt that boating and fishing go hand in had with Houston RVing. However, how familiar are you with the invasive species of plants and animals that are destroying those same lakes and rivers?
According to texasinvasives.org: Zebra mussels are having a devastating effect on the state’s natural resources. They negatively impact native fish and mussels and foul beaches with their sharp shells. They wreak havoc for boaters by damaging boat hulls and reducing the performance of boating equipment. Zebra mussels can clog water intakes, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Zebra mussels have already invaded Lake Texoma, and could take over all freshwater sources in Texas.
Hello invasive species…Goodbye Texas lakes
If you are a boater, or fisherman her are some tips for you: (Source texasinvasives.org)
Stop the Spread
There are many things you can do to help stem the tide of invasive species. One of the most effective ways to manage invasive species is for recreationalists such as boaters, fishermen, pet owners, and gardeners to Take Action. Here are some easy everyday things you can do to meet the Invasive Species Challenge:
Boaters and Anglers
You can “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” by following these tips for preventing the transportation of aquatic invasive species:
- CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY YOUR BOAT, TRAILER AND GEAR EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE A BODY OF WATER!
- Inspect your boat, trailer and gear and remove all plants, animals and foreign objects from hulls, propellers, intakes, trailers, and gear before leaving a launch area.
- Drain all water from your boat, including the motor, bilge, livewells and bait buckets before leaving a lake.
- Wash your boat, trailer and other equipment before traveling to a new waterway.
- If you are leaving a water body that is known to have zebra mussels, leave your boat and trailer out of the water for at least a week or wash it at a commercial car wash using high-pressure, hot (140 degrees F) soapy water to kill microscopic zebra mussel larvae that may be hitching a ride.
- Never transport water, animals, or plants from one waterbody to another — either intentionally or accidentally! Do not release live fish, including bait, into a new body of water.
- Anglers should be sure to remove material from and wash all fishing tackle, downriggers and lines to prevent spreading small, larval forms of aquatic invaders.
- Before leaving any body of water, examine all your equipment, boats, trailers, clothing, boots, buckets etc and remove any visible plants, fish or animals. Remove mud and dirt and even the smallest plant fragments.
- Whether you have obtained bait at a store or from another body of water, do not release unused bait into the waters you are fishing. If you do not plan to use the bait in the future, dump the bait in a trashcan or on the land, far enough away from the water that it cannot impact this resource. Also, be aware of any bait regulations, because in some waters, it is illegal to use live bait
What if we aren’t boaters or anglers? Do we have to worry about the spreading invasive species? Absolutely! Here are some things you can do to be a good steward of the land and protect our foliage and natural habitats. (Source texasinvasives.org)
Travelers, Hikers, Bikers, Birders, and Campers
If you engage in terrestrial recreational activities like camping, hiking, biking or birding, take care not to be an unwitting vehicle of dispersion.
- Don’t transport items such as fire wood, hay, soil, or sod from one area to another. They may contain seeds, diseases, insects, or other potentially invasive organisms that are not yet found in Texas.
- Prevent carrying invasive species on your cars, bicycles and motorcycles. Check vehicles for seeds and pieces of plants.
- Wash your boots and socks before you hike in a new area. Invasive weed seeds are common hitchhikers.
- Abide by local laws to prevent the spread of serious insect pests (like the Emerald Ash Borer), weeds (like Cogongrass), and diseases (like Oak Wilt).
PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that as new, used or consignment RV owners and campers to protect our natural habitat to the best of our ability. We all need to be hyper aware of the damages we can cause to our surroundings, even if we can’t see that damage. have a conversation with the Park Ranger the net time you enjoy one of our State Parks, Lakes or Rivers and educate yourself on how you and your RV can make less of a footprint.