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Working Dogs Help Spread 'Clean, Drain And Dry' Message To Prevent Zebra Mussels Invasion

Texas Parks and Wildlife is asking boaters who go out this weekend to always “Clean, drain and dry” their boats as they remove them from the state’s lakes and rivers.

Spokesman Tom Harvey says the state is battling the invasive “zebra mussel” population that migrated to the U.S. from Asia some years ago and now is causing economic and environmental problems for Texas waterways – and even water suppliers.

"Zebra mussels actually caused the North Texas Municipal Water District to have to spend $300 million on a pipeline to move water to avoid spreading the mussels and that caused a rate increase that the district said was necessary for water customers," Harvey says.

Parks and Wildlife has enlisted the help of some four-footed furry friends to help spread the message about emptying boats to ensure no zebra mussels hitch a ride to the next water outing.

"And what they’ve been doing is being part of the 'Clean, Drain, Dry' message by putting on public demonstrations where these dogs show the presence of zebra mussels on a boat," he says.

Harvey says although the dogs can find the mussels by sniffing the boats, the program is simply a demonstration to get families who use Texas waterways to follow the advice to “Clean, drain and dry” their boats before they ever leave the boat ramp.