AUSTIN, Texas - Visitors to Lake Travis for the holidays should make sure to keep an eye out for zebra mussels.
Travis County Parks is issuing a warning after several reports of people getting injured. The zebra mussel shell is sharp and can easily cut bare skin that comes in contact with them.
Those who work at the lake say it seems to be a problem which is only getting worse.
“They're proliferating, they are everywhere, they are on everything,” Windy Point Park president Richard Barstow.
Zebra mussels are making Lake Travis their new home, and according to Barstow, this summer they are here in full force.
“Zebra mussels are everywhere. You can't get away from them if you are near a solid item,” said Barstow.
Travis County Parks is urging people to be careful where they place their hands and feet when entering or exiting the water.
“Most people are pretty aware; I always tell people at the counter coming up to be aware,” said Barstow.
Barstow said he's seen a few cases of people get cut at his park.
“People do get some cuts on them but it's not very common,” Barstow said. “I give out 2 or 3 bandages every weekend.”
Travis County Parks said people should also be cautious of underwater portions of structures like docks, buoys, cables and anything else that's solid like rocks. Barstow recommends people wear water shoes.
Right now, there isn't a practical method to get rid of zebra mussels. Barstow said at his park they do what they can to pluck them off.
“It's not a solution to the real problem but it makes life easier for our customers,” said Barstow.
He said this warning shouldn't stop people from having fun at the lake so long as you watch where you step.
The following Travis County Parks on Lake Travis have zebra mussel populations: Arkansas Bend, Bob Wentz, Cypress Creek, Hippie Hollow, Mansfield Dam, Pace Bend, Sandy Creek, and Tom Hughes.