TPWD District Biologist Mark Webb surveyed the lake, and here is his report.
"While on the water today we investigated reports of stumps being cut in Live Branch in the south end of the lake. With the exception of 3 small stumps at the mouth of Live Branch in open water the Richardson's contractors were not operating in Live Branch. What we found was that some person or persons cut a large area of timber off at or near the water line from the middle of Live Branch to further back in the cove. The cutting appears to have been done with a chainsaw from a boat. Again, this cutting was not done by the Richardson's contractors nor was it approved by TPWD or SJRA. SJRA is investigating to try to determine who is responsible. We don't have an accurate count of the trees damaged yet but it is certainly a significant number! If you know of anyone who witnessed this cutting or witnessed cutting in other areas of the reservoir besides what was done by the Richardson's contractors (Stump Busters stump cutting barge or Deep Six stump cutting divers) please let me or Blake know."
Members of the Fishing Across Texas Forum attended the SJRA Board meeting and testified before their commission. You can listen to that portion of the meeting here.
It is great to see anglers standing up to fight for their home lake. The individuals who took it upon themselves to destroy habitat on a public body of water without authority from SJRA or TPWD need to be brought to justice. By cutting the stumps off at the waterline, they are threatening public safety and could potentially be held responsible should an accident occur.
SJRA needs to ultimately develop a stump removal policy which maintains a balance between protecting habitat and public safety. I encourage the SJRA to adopt a policy similar to the one recently implemented by the Guadelupe-Blanco River Authority which can be found here.
If anyone has any information as to the identitiy of those responsible for the stump cutting in Live Branch on Lake Conroe, please contact SJRA.