Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program (ZMMP)

Science Center Objects

The zebra mussel is an invasive species that has spread rapidly in the United States. The first confirmed detection of zebra mussels in Texas occurred in 2009 at Lake Texoma along the Texas–Oklahoma border. The USGS Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for Texas (ZMMP) began in April 2010 and has expanded over time in response to the continued spread of zebra mussels in Texas.

The ZMMP provides early detection and monitoring of invasive zebra and quagga mussels in Texas reservoirs and waterways using a holistic suite of detection methods. The program is designed to assess zebra mussel occurrence, distribution, and densities in Texas waters by using four approaches:

  • Collecting and analyzing water samples for juveniles (veligers)
  • Monitoring mussel settlement and growth on artificial and natural substrates
  • Underwater SCUBA and video inspections
  • Collecting and analyzing water-quality (water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, etc.) data

Texas Water Science Center scientists monitor zebra mussels at 17 reservoirs, 5 rivers, 3 water-treatment plants, and a municipal water pipeline. Data collected during this monitoring can assist rapid-response efforts and can be used to quantify the economic and ecological effects of zebra mussels in Texas waters.

► Learn more at the Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for Texas Website