Livingston, TX, June 24, 2016: Nearly 5,000 American Water-Willow aquatic plants are taking root at 13 sites around Lake Livingston, beginning the long process of reestablishing fish habitat and helping to filter the water. Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR) is managing this 10-year project with partners Texas Black Bass Unlimited, Trinity River Authority, and Texas Parks and Wildlife; and the help of six local Independent School Districts.
Planting methods have evolved since the initial fall 2014 planting of 500 American Water-Willows along the banks of Lake Livingston State Park. While this effort appeared lost due planting too deep and high water levels throughout the year, surprisingly, a handful of plants are thriving. Current plantings are done in six to eight inches of water to allow the aquatic plants to take hold. At one year, each plant is expected to spread across an area approximately 9-12 square inches.
“In two or three years, these plants will provide attractive and dense vegetation, becoming a healthy habitat for small fish, birds and reptiles,” said Tom McDonough, LLFoR Project Director. “This will allow the fish population to increase and mature, beginning to reverse the decline in Lake Livingston’s fish population.”
LLFoR’s goal is to plant 10,000 plants each year, and is on track to do this for 2017 through the project’s end in 2024. In May of this year, LLFoR planted 2,300 plants in five additional sites in Wolf Creek and Indian Creek with the help of over 150 student and partner volunteers. Two additional plantings of 300-400 plants each are scheduled in July and August. Two larger student/partner plantings of 3,500 plants each are planned for September 2016 and May 2017.
Because of the work of LLFoR and its partners, Lake Livingston was named one of 10 Waters to Watch in 2015 by the National Fish Habitat.