Fast forward a year or two later, and Lake Conroe is feeling the brunt of a record Texas drought. The lake is 8 ft low and lake front home ownership is more of a concept than reality. Access is severely impacted and a cause for frustration for many anglers and homeowners alike. With the new found real estate between their dock and the water, many homeowners have discovered just how many stumps and trees inhabit Lake Conroe. In the early days, it is my understanding that the lake filled quickly and much of the standing timber was not removed. Many of the trees have broken off below the water's surface at normal pool, but with the lake as low as it is, much of this timber is now visible. It is likely that low lake levels will be common in the future given competing uses for Lake Conroe water.
The stumps which are perceived as hazards are now the target of a new project in the name of public safety. The project opportunity arose when a stump removal contractor from Georgia had some downtime from a project he was hired by a developer to do on Lake Livingston. A plan was hastily developed, money was appropriated, and permission was given by the San Jacinto River Authority. The stump removal project developed by a local marina owner and the LCA however is a case study in how not to begin a large project which impacts habitat on a public water body. I share the homeowners concerns for public safety. I have lost my share of lower units due to underwater hazards and safe navigation is something all anglers can get behind. The problem however, lies with the oversight to properly involve TPWD in order to evaluate the plan's impact on habitat. The communication regarding where and how many stumps to be cut was also a problem and a last minute deal to cut the price per stump by the contractor increased the number of stumps to be cut from around 250 to 400. All of these plans were made without consideration for the impact on habitat, fish, or wildlife.
Once word got out about this poorly conceived plan, TPWD and angling groups got involved and asked that the plan be reviewed, and impact on habitat be considered prior to any work being done.
I am now happy to report we will likely see a project which in the end, will be a benefit to all boaters on Lake Conroe.
|The best meetings always have |
law inforcement invited
One of the most important lessons learned from this is the reminder that when everyone works together, we can accomplish far more than what we can do on our own. I will remain involved with this project and post updates as they become available.
You can view a copy of the PowerPoint presentation given at the meeting here