LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

Hoping you’ve enjoyed the Summer. Just some quick facts on Lake Conroe ’s hydrilla infestation and treatment to keep you up to date. Here’s what I know.

As of July, 2007, hydrilla infestation was surveyed to total 1,776 infested acres. Infestation by area was 564 acres in Caney Creek (northwestern arm of the Lake ), 553 acres in Little Lake Creek (primarily Bentwater, Walden, Grand Harbor and up to the bridge into Montgomery ), 295 acres in Lewis Creek (primarily Lake Conroe Hills, Pt. Aquarius and up to the small 1097 bridge at the Shell station), and 364 acres in other areas.

The September, 2007 hydrilla survey was not done by Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD). A date when a survey will be completed by TPWD has not been established.

TPWD permitted the release of 25,364 white amur grass carp after releasing its July, 2007 hydrilla survey results. To date, releases have been as follows:

· September 13….3,200 western Bentwater, 1,800 Bentwater small island and 500 Bentwater marina…..for a total of 5,500 (to cover “Little Lake Creek”)

· September 20….. 3,250 Lake Conroe Hills, 1,625 Anchorage Marina and 1,625 Pt. Aquarius…..for a total of 6,500 (to cover “ Lewis Creek ”)

· September 27…..3,200 Scott’s Ridge Nat’l Park and 3,200 northern Caney Creek….for a total of 6,400 (to cover “Caney Creek”)

· October 4…..estimated 4,000 tomorrow to Cagle Park (northeastern arm of the Lake with a significant new infestation during Summer, 2007) and possible other selected, appropriate locations

· October 11-18…..balance of 2,964…..release location not yet established

I know that the Lake still doesn’t look wonderful where infested. I know that hydrilla infestations have spread to new locations during 2007. I know that many are tired of seeing and dealing with the hydrilla…..as am I. But here is the “theoretic good news”:

· In October, 2006, we had 26,000 fish eating 1,200 acres

· In May, 2007, we had 55,000 fish eating 1,900 acres

· The July, 2007 survey reported 1,800 acres….meaning no “net growth” during the fastest growing months of hydrilla….meaning the fish were eating the hydrilla sufficiently to stop further expansion (with the help of herbicides)

· While no survey was completed, I’d “guess” that our hydrilla infestation has remained at 1,800 acres today…..again not expanding during peak growing months (with the help of herbicides)

· With the newest releases summarized above, we will have 75,000 fish eating 1,800 acres….and doing so when hydrilla is NOT in growth mode

· With hydrilla growing at a slow pace over the next 4-5 months, these 75,000 fish SHOULD reduce the number of infested acres significantly

· Should 75,000 fish reduce hydrilla to 1,400 acres (just to pick a number), then 75,000 fish will eat 1,400 acres EVEN FASTER. And should those same 75,000 fish then reduce hydrilla to 1,000 acres, then 75,000 fish will eat 1,000 acres FASTER THAN FASTER.

At least I can be optimistic that we’re headed on the right path. I doubt that the stated goal (40 acres or less of hydrilla by March, 2008) of the Lake Conroe Aquatic Management Plan co-authored by TPWD and the San Jacinto River Authority will be achieved, but hydrilla reduction WILL happen and 2008 will be a better year for all of us.

Glad to share some information and thoughts with you. Enjoy the beautiful weather ahead.

Mike Bleier

President, Lake Conroe Association