Just less than a year ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife announced that the dreaded zebra mussels had been found in Lake Travis. From personal experience, I can report that they are already making an impact. So far I have not seen examples that are totally encrusted like the items I have seen in Google images, but it will not be long. The photo above is of a 7″ rock I picked up on the shoreline at our lake place near Pace Bend Park. As the LCRA releases water for spring irrigation, random clusters of zebra mussels can be seen on the newly revealed waterfront rocks.
Unfortunately, the small shells are razor sharp. I reached into the water to pick up an abandoned boat anchor and I now have five small cuts on my left hand. A careful inspection also found that they are now appearing on our dock ladder (and I assume underwater bracing). Contemplate that . . . and think of the potential cut feet and hands.
So, what does that mean to real estate values? It is too soon to say for sure, but I think it will definitely be an influence – especially if other nearby lakes are not similarly afflicted. In light of the skyrocketing property taxes, dealing with an infestation of crusty zebra mussels on cables and dock frames just makes for one more expense for waterfront homeowners.
Jeff Stewart, CCIM, SRES Broker Associate