A Big Challenge
Lake Livingston is the second largest lake in Texas, created in 1971 to provide most of Houston's water. As a result of environments, over bulk-heading, and past management practices, the lake is now devoid of most aquatic vegetation. The result is now a declining habitat for fish fingerlings, increased shore erosion and siltation, and reduced water quality. This lack of native vegetation exposes the lake to infestation by invasive foreign plants.
Creating Best Practices
Friends of Lake Livingston's initial plan was it introduce 100,000 native aquatic plants into the lake within 10 years. Now into our fifth year we expect the project to continue as an eco-recovery effort that will create self-sustaining habitat along the non-bulk-headed shoreline and riparian areas.
Based on research conducted by FoLL and Texas Parks and Wildlife in early 2017 to monitor plant survival and provide valuable information on optimum planting sites, depth, and plant sizes we know:
50% Plants Survived: Success rate for all plantings exceeds 50%, with over 5,000 plants thriving
Protected Creek Plantings Thrive: Water-willows require protection from the north and south winds resulted in healthy colony development.
Plants Prefer Shallow Water: Planting done in four to six inches of water resulted in thriving colonies, developing up the banks and beyond the initial planting depth.
North End Offers Greatest Opportunity: Upper reaches of Lake Livingston, with its network of creeks, coves, and sub-lakes offers unlimited planting sites. Planting on that end also offers greatest filtration of silt as it washes into the reservoir.
These native aquatic plants, once established in sustaining colonies, will provide habitat for fish, birds, and other invertebrates, as well as improve water quality. The end result is expected to add significant value to our community.
We share what we've learned and what we're doing with civic and service organizations, schools, and environmental organizations.
Email Friends of Lake Livingston to request a presentation for your group.