Many boaters, anglers and other lake users know that zebra mussels are thriving in El Dorado Reservoir and in the Walnut River.
Zebra mussels are small freshwater mollusks that typically have a dark and white (zebra-like) pattern on their shells. This prolific species will rapidly attach to any hard structure in the water, and they are difficult to remove.
Zebra mussels also cause problems by competing for food with young fish and native mussels. Although zebra mussels often make water clearer, the clear water can lead to conditions that create toxic algae blooms that can kill fish.
In El Dorado Reservoir, adult zebra mussels can be found attached to rocks along the shoreline. Swimmers and waders must wear protective clothing to prevent direct contact with the razor-like shell.
Once zebra mussels become established, they are nearly impossible to eradicate. All aquatic users must drain and clean equipment before launching in a new lake or stream.