New rule requires boats to drain , clean vessels before changing lakes.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a coalition of partners are working to slow the spread of zebra mussels by reminding boaters to clean, drain and dry their vessels before traveling from one lake to another.

Beginning July 1, boaters must drain all water from their boat and on-board receptacles before leaving or approaching a body of fresh water anywhere in Texas.

The new Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulation is designed to help combat the further spread of zebra mussels - a small, destructive species that can spread across Texas by hitching a ride on boats and trailers and cause tremendous environmental and economic damage - and other invasive species.

The new rules apply to all types and sizes of boats, whether powered or not, including personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks and canoes.

More information is online at texasinvasives.org/zebramussels.