LCA President’s Update

LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE as of January 25, 2018

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!

Please find attached two (2) sample letters to Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. If you agree with their contents and choose to participate, please 1) print these letters, 2) sign and date the letters, and 3) place the two signed letters in two stamped envelopes to Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

DO YOU DESIRE TO SEE LAKE CONROE’S LAKE LEVEL DECREASED BY 3 FEET?

No? Send in your two (2) letters….and read on.

WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

As you may have read in our previous LCA President’s Update dated December 12, 2017, the Houston Chronicle on December 8, 2017, or the Conroe Courier on December 10, 2017, an initiative by the Lake Houston Area has commenced related to flooding incurred during Hurricane Harvey. Devastation incurred in the Lake Houston Area is being blamed, in part, on water releases from the Lake Conroe dam during that storm event.  In an effort to draw attention to the issue, this Lake Houston Area group initiated a letter-writing campaign to Governor Abbott and thirteen (13) elected officials in Austin.  Governor Abbott’s Office has estimated that they have received “thousands of letters” to date.  To represent what we believe is in the best interests of the Lake Conroe Area, we are asking you to join us in writing Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick by completing the attached sample letters.

WHO IS THE “LAKE HOUSTON AREA”?

A program named “Recover Lake Houston” and “PleaFor3LakeHouston” is being coordinated by, among others, the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Houston Economic Development Partnership. For specifics on this program, you may go to www.lakehouston.org/recoverlakehouston.

WHAT DO THEY WANT?

“PleaFor3” relates to three (3) specific requests termed Reduction, Remediation and Representation. “Reduction” relates to reducing Lake Conroe’s lake level by three (3) feet as a means of downstream flood control.  “Remediation” references the removal of slit and debris from Lake Houston and the San Jacinto River (between Lake Conroe and Lake Houston) to improve water flow.  “Representation” refers to placing a representative from the Lake Houston Area on the Board of the San Jacinto River Authority.  The two (2) attached sample letters further explain these three (3) “R’s”.

HAVE YOU MAILED YOUR LETTERS YET?

PLEASE PARTICIPATE and mail these letters. For additional information, you may visit www.lakeconroeassociation.com and leave any questions on that site.  Thank you.

Mike Bleier, President

Lake Conroe Association

LCA President’s Update

LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

as of December 12, 2017

As I wrote my first draft of this LCA President’s Update, the day provided a cloudy, rainy, 46 degree day.  And, as 5:20PM approached, it would soon be dark outside.  A few days later, while I was out of town, I’m told we experienced a snowfall that made our landscape look magic!  While Winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, I think IT’S HERE!  Put away the swim suits and wake boards, and slide on some thermals and rain gear.  For Winter lovers, enjoy your time of year.  For the rest of us, fear not as flowers will grow, bass will spawn and sunshine will abound in less than 100 days.

LAKE VEGETATION:  Texas Parks & Wildlife has completed its survey of Lake Conroe lake conditions and will officially release their findings shortly.  Preliminary results tell the story of a healthy Lake Conroe.  “Native vegetation” continues to expand naturally and from approved “plantings” coordinated by Texas Parks & Wildlife and local fishing organizations.  It is expected that the number of acres of “native vegetation” will be equal to or greater than the 334 acres reported in Fall, 2016.  As it relates to “invasive vegetation”, Lake Conroe contains some of the lowest quantities of “invasives” ever.  While tubers of Hydrilla may still lie dormant in the floor of Lake Conroe and the plant will undoubtedly return someday, we have no reportable quantities of Hydrilla currently.  Giant Salvinia and Water Hyacinth are still found in “pockets” around the lake, but the quantities are minimal and being controlled, in large part, by the aquatic herbicide spraying program of the San Jacinto River Authority.  When Texas Parks & Wildlife releases its official results, we will post that information to our web site at www.lakeconroeassociation.com.

ZEBRA MUSSELS:  While Texas has spent millions of dollars in a “war of containment” against invasive aquatic species, we continue to lose ground across the State in the battle against Zebra Mussels.  Last month, Texas Parks & Wildlife reported that Lake Livingston on the Trinity River and Lake Georgetown on the Brazos River watershed have been colonized by Zebra Mussels.  These were the fifth and sixth Texas reservoirs this year to be documented as “holding established, reproducing populations of the non-native mollusks”.  Earlier in the year, Zebra Mussels were documented in Canyon Lake on the Guadalupe River, Lakes Travis and Austin on the Colorado River, and the Richland-Chambers Reservoir on the Trinity River.  Zebra Mussels were first documented in Texas in 2009 in Lake Texoma and are now reported in at least 13 Texas lakes.   Fortunately, Zebra Mussels have not been documented in Lake Conroe yet; and all boaters are urged to follow precautionary steps outlined under Texas Parks & Wildlife’s “Clean, Drain & Dry Program”.  For more information about the “Clean, Drain & Dry Program”, you may visit our web site at www.lakeconroeassociation.com or Texas Parks & Wildlife’s web site at www.tpwd.com.

HURRICANE HARVEY and LAKE CONROE:  August, 2017 brought record amounts of rainfall into and water releases out of Lake Conroe.  Our prayers continue for those affected by this terrible storm.  Lake Conroe reached a peak lake level of 206.2 feet above msl (mean sea level) surpassing its previous high of 205.5 feet msl in October, 1994.   With a normal lake level (often called “full pool”) of 201 feet msl , Lake Conroe and its lake front property owners found themselves battling waters in excess of 5 feet over normal lake conditions.  Bulk heads were breached, boat docks were damaged, watercraft floated unsecured across the lake, and unfortunate homes and businesses became flooded inside.  Our immediate area reportedly saw over 22 inches of rainfall during the event – 13 inches of which fell on that Sunday alone.  The previous record for our area was 15 inches of rainfall in October, 1994.  As a result of this onslaught of water, the San Jacinto River Authority released water from its dam site on the South side of Lake Conroe at an amazing peak rate of 79,141 cubic feet per second (surpassing the previous record release rate of 33,300 cubic feet per second in October, 1994).  Many people have a difficult time “quantifying in their head” what a cubic foot really looks like.  For something to relate to, I like to use a bowling ball as an example of a “cubic foot” (something 12” by 12” by 12”).  Can you imagine standing at the water release gates of SJRA’s dam site and witnessing 79,141 bowling balls going by EVERY SECOND?  For specific details of the rainfall event and actions taken by the San Jacinto River Authority, you may visit their website at www.sjra.net.

RAINFALL:  Through today, the lake community has received 63.2 inches of rain (compared to an annual average of 48.0 inches) in 2017.  The San Jacinto River Authority has released a total of 410,367 acre feet of water at the dam site – equating to 19.5 feet of water over the 21,000 surface acres of Lake Conroe (compared to an average annual release of 7.0 feet).

LCA RESPONSE TO GROUP’S REQUEST TO DROP LAKE CONROE LAKE LEVEL BY 3 FEET:  Sunday, December 10th’s Conroe Courier reported that a group organized as the Lake Houston Area Long Term Recovery Task Force has launched a program named “Recover Lake Houston”.  In response to the flooding devastation created during Hurricane Harvey in their community, this group requests 1) Remediation (dredging the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston to remove silt), 2) Representation (meaning placing representatives from their community on the Board of the San Jacinto River Authority), and 3) REDUCTION (MEANING PERMANENTLY REDUCE LAKE CONROE’S LAKE LEVEL BY 3 FEET).  Obviously, residents and businesses on and around Lake Conroe would not desire to see our lake level reduced permanently by 3 feet.  This is a very short summary of a very big request reported only 2 days ago.  The LCA has requested a meeting with this group and will immediately be preparing a response.  We will report back to you via e-mail and solicit your help shortly.  This topic will be discussed at our LCA Annual Meeting on January 18, 2018 and listed below.

LCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS BALLOT:  For Members of the LCA, you will be receiving your voting proxy via. U.S. Mail in late December to elect your Board of Directors for another year.  Please take the time to complete and mail your proxy back to us so that we may utilize your feedback.  As requested by some LCA Members last year, the voting package will include a biography of individuals on the LCA Board.  For any individuals desiring to join the Board of the LCA, we are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can join us for LCA Board Meetings once a quarter.

LCA ANNUAL MEETING:  The Annual Meeting of the LCA will be held on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 10AM at the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the San Jacinto River Authority (off Highway 105).  Ballots for the LCA Board will be counted and a brief summary of the LCA and its 2017 happenings will be provided.

On behalf of the Lake Conroe Association, may we wish you a blessed and safe Holiday Season, and thank you for your support of our non-profit volunteer organization.  Should you have any questions, thoughts you’d like to share, or make a donation to the LCA, you may reach us at www.lakeconroeassociation.com or e-mail me directly at parmgb@aol.com.  We appreciate your interest and support.

Mike Bleier, President

Lake Conroe Association

LCA President’s Update

LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

May 21, 2017

It’s been an early and beautiful Spring for us this year in Montgomery County. But, based on yesterday’s heat and humidity, that soon will pass and we’ll be welcoming (???) another Texas Summer.  Yet, if it’s going to be hot, what better place than on or around our fun-filled Lake Conroe?  Let us share with you some brief information about lake conditions and safety.

BOAT INSPECTIONS BY MONTGOMERY COUNTY CONSTABLES: Law enforcement in Montgomery County continues to work towards improved safety on our roads and waterways.  We’ve had “No Refusal Weekends” for some time now as an attempt to curb alcohol and/or drug related accidents in our vehicles and boats.  The Montgomery County Constables Department Lake Division is soon implementing an enhanced boating safety check to enforce existing laws on the lake.  The same rules still apply, but you may now be checked prior to launching your boat or jet ski from a public boat launch.

Starting this Memorial Day Weekend, the Montgomery County Constables will be providing personnel to check boats and jet skis prior to allowing you to put them in the water. A total of nine (9) public boat launches on Lake Conroe will be participating in the program.  Three teams of three people (with each team consisting of two Constables and one volunteer) will man three public boat launches on a given Holiday Weekend Saturday…..then move the three teams to three other public boat launches on Sunday…..and then move those three teams to the remaining three public boat launches on Monday.  It is anticipated that the teams will work from approximately 10AM to 2PM.

Should anyone be interested in joining the Constables’ safety check team as a volunteer, the Constables Lake Division will welcome your participation.

The boating safety check will be enforcing the same safety rules that have applied for years and which are regularly done on the water by the Constables Lake Division. It is anticipated that safety checks done on the land (prior to launching) will be much safer for all involved than performing these checks in the open lake, and should be able to be completed in a shorter period of time.  Upon a satisfactory completion of the safety check, the boater will be provided a bright-colored card by the Constable which remains valid for that one day only.  In the event that you are subsequently “pulled over” on the water that day by the Constables Lake Division for a safety check, you will simply show the bright-colored card and not be asked to perform the safety check on the lake.  Please keep in mind that the bright-colored card will note the number of passengers on the boat and that you had a sufficient number of life vests at the time of the check.  Should you add passengers to your boat later that day and fail to hold a sufficient number of life vests, you will remain subject to citation and fine.

The boating safety checklist includes:

  • Personal floatation device that is size appropriate for each passenger.  These devices must be “serviceable” (they work) and “accessible” (not in a locked cabinet on board)
  • A Class IV throwable or ring buoy
  • A charged and accessible fire extinguisher
  • A sound producing device for emergency
  • The Texas Parks & Wildlife registration card for the vessel (no copies allowed)
  • A valid driver’s license for identification purposes only

The safety checklist for a jet ski is the same as above except for not requiring a Class IV throwable or ring buoy.

Operators of watercraft on Texas lakes must be a minimum of 16 years of age. An exception to utilize watercraft at 13 years of age may be obtained by satisfactorily completing an approved boating safety course.

It should be noted that these safety checks at public boat launches are considered “voluntary” and may be refused by the boat owner. Boating safety rules enforced by the Constables only apply “in the water” and not “on land”.  If you are in violation of any of the safety rules BEFORE you launch, you will asked to obtain the missing safety items prior to launching.  If you are in violation of any of the safety rules AFTER you launch and are “in the water”, you are issued a citation by the Constables with a fine attached.  I’d guess that should you choose to refuse such a safety check on the land and launch your boat, it will be so noted and you may be “pulled over” on the water for that check by the Constables shortly thereafter.

For boaters who do not use public boat launches (private dock owners, country club marinas), you will remain subject to random boating safety checks on the water as in the past by the Constables. If you are checked “on the water”, you will NOT be issued a bright-colored card documenting your passing of the safety check.  The Constables have made this decision based on the time, safety and danger of writing out the bright-colored card while on the water.

ZEBRA MUSSELS: The terribly-invasive species called Zebra Mussels have now made their way into Lake Livingston based on the first documented case last week.  Zebra Mussels had already been documented in the Trinity River and at least five (5) Texas lakes.  Zebra Mussels are typically transported from one water body to another by attaching themselves to your boat or trailer.  Texas Parks & Wildlife have implemented their “Clean, Drain and Dry” Program as an educational and enforcement tool to stem the infestation of additional Texas lakes.  Should you observe anyone launching a boat into Lake Conroe that you believe to contain Zebra Mussels, contact a Game Warden regarding the enforcement of transporting Zebra Mussels as they can issue an Invasive Species Citation which is a Class C Misdemeanor. Please help to protect our Texas lakes.

INVASIVE VEGETATION ON LAKE CONROE: Texas Parks & Wildlife and the San Jacinto River Authority were pleased to report to us last week that Lake Conroe is in wonderful aquatic health.  Giant Salvinia is primarily controlled by a spraying program and after only one treatment this year, they report Giant Salvinia limited to only 40 acres at this time (versus approximately 200 acres at this time last year).  Water Hyacinth (also treated by spraying) is reported to be minimal and under control.  Hydrilla appears to be restricted to only experimental “cages” where White Amur grass carp cannot reach the invasive.  When Hydrilla reappears in Lake Conroe (which it will inevitably do), a balanced, mutually-agreed upon stocking program of White Amur will be implemented immediately.

NATIVE VEGETATION ON LAKE CONROE: Subsequent to the 2006-2008 Hydrilla infestation and the introduction of White Amur grass carp, we found Lake Conroe’s native vegetation to be terribly damaged and reduced.  From its height of approximately 2,000 acres of native vegetation in 2005, we experienced a decrease to less than 200 acres of native vegetation by 2010.  Native vegetation is extremely important for water quality, limiting shoreline erosion, and providing fish habitat.  Through the efforts of Texas Parks & Wildlife, the San Jacinto River Authority, and volunteers from a variety of angling organizations, numerous stockings of native vegetation have been added to Lake Conroe to replenish the depleted resource.  Texas Parks & Wildlife reported 334 acres of native vegetation last Summer and anticipates a significant increase in that acreage when they complete their next lake study in Summer, 2017.  A plant called Water Willow has proven to be a wonderful success in the native plant restoration program.

On behalf of the Board of the Lake Conroe Association, we would like to thank you for your interest in Lake Conroe and your support of our non-profit organization. Previous LCA President’s Updates, informative articles, and links to other valuable websites can be found at www:lakeconroeassociation.com.  Should you have any questions or desire to provide feedback, we can be reached via that website or you may contact me directly at parmgb@aol.com.  Enjoy your Summer and be safe out there.

Mike Bleier, President

Lake Conroe Association

LAKE CONROE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT’S UPDATE as of November 28, 2016

2016 certainly proved to be a very exciting year around our lake community and the nation. It felt like our entire year was filled with local and national election rhetoric. We experienced heavy rains and flooding through rain events in March, April, May and June. For those unlucky enough to be in its path, a tornado (or some downplay the event to be “straight line winds”) struck the northern side of the lake tearing decades-old oak trees from the ground by their roots and snapping 100 foot tall pine trees in half. 2016 is becoming the “hottest year on record” for global temperatures and yet we’ve seen 36 degrees on our outdoor thermometer this month.

RAINFALL: Through today, the lake community has received 65 inches of rain (compared to an average annual rainfall total of 48 inches) in 2016. The San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) has released a total of 20.8 feet of water at the dam site (compared to an average annual release of 7.0 feet).

LAKE LEVELS: As a result of our often heavy and relatively consistent rainfall in 2016, the lake level on Lake Conroe has averaged 200.95’ and stayed above 200.0’ for 255 days out of 325 days so far this year. As you probably know, the standard elevation for Lake Conroe is a level of 201.0’. In terms of enjoying a relatively “full” lake, we were blessed with wonderfully high lake levels this year. I’m confident we can all still recall 2011-2013 where we experienced lake levels as low as 192.68’ and a total of 427 days below 198.0’.

AQUATIC VEGETATION: 2016 has been a relatively benign year as it relates to invasive aquatic vegetation. Based on recent Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD) surveys and ongoing supervision by SJRA, Hydrilla remained virtually non-existent this year (observing only small fragments of Hydrilla in 3 TPWD “test cages” which protect aquatic plants from, among other fish, White Amur grass carp). While Giant Salvinia and Water Hyacinth continue to reside on Lake Conroe, ongoing aquatic herbicide spraying by SJRA and its sub-contractor (SprayCo) have kept the invasives at manageable levels. TPWD last reported surveyed totals of Giant Salvinia and Water Hyacinth as 58 and 89 acres, respectively. TPWD has reported the emergence of “common” Salvinia here in small quantities (not previously experienced) and has added it to its list of invasives to monitor. We’ve seen a wonderful recovery of native vegetation on Lake Conroe thanks, in great part, to restoration efforts by TPWD, SJRA and many angling organizations. Native vegetation totals approximately 334 acres currently.
WHITE AMUR GRASS CARP: Based on the non-presence of Hydrilla currently and the estimated quantity of existing White Amur Grass Carp from our last stocking in 2008, it is unlikely any new White Amur will be added to Lake Conroe in the near future. Should Hydrilla once again appear, SJRA, TPWD, the LCA and anglers will immediately convene to assess the situation and address the need for a stocking.

ZEBRA MUSSELS: Other than catching a few vessels trying to launch into Lake Conroe with Zebra Mussels attached to their hull, we have avoided an infestation so far as best we know. Eight (8) Texas lakes have now been identified as containing Zebra Mussels including our close neighbors Lake Livingston and the Trinity River. We must all take particular care when transporting our boats, jet skis and any water-bound accessory from any lake known to contain Zebra Mussels. Please be sure you acquaint yourselves with TPWD’s program of “Clean, Drain & Dry your boat, trailer and gear every time you leave the water” when enjoying our Texas lakes. For more information, you may visit www.TexasInvasives.org.

EQUIPMENT DONATION TO MONTGOMERY COUNTY CONSTABLE’S LAKE DIVISION: The LCA was pleased to donate $4,975 in diving equipment to the Montgomery County Constable’s Lake Division last month. Among other tasks, the dive team is charged with the responsibility of “Search & Recovery” for victims in Lake Conroe. This new equipment (2 dive communication masks and a communication console for a Constable boat) allows the divers under the water’s surface to communicate with the Constables in the boat on the surface. Not only does this facilitate more timely recovery of the victim, but also tremendously improves the safety of the divers having to navigate Lake Conroe’s unclear waters (often having to dive at night). The Constable’s Department and Montgomery County Commissioner’s Court were very appreciative of the donation afforded by our LCA Members.

LCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS BALLOT: For Members of the LCA, you will be receiving your voting proxy via U.S. Mail in late December to elect your LCA Board of Directors for another year. Please take the time to complete and mail your proxy back to us so that we may utilize your feedback. For any individuals desiring to join the Board of the LCA, we are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can join us for LCA Board Meeting every other month.

TOM BUTZ RETIRES FROM LCA BOARD: After 13 years of volunteering his time to the LCA Board (most of which he served as LCA Treasurer), Tom and his wife Nancy have relocated to Kansas. We very much appreciate his friendship and years of dedicated service to our organization. Good luck to ya’ll and we will miss you.

LCA ANNUAL MEETING: The Annual Meeting of the LCA will be held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 10AM at the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the San Jacinto River Authority (on Highway 105). Ballots for the LCA Board of Directors will be counted and a brief summary of the LCA and its 2016 happenings will be provided.

On behalf of the Lake Conroe Association, we all wish you a blessed and safe Holiday Season, and thank you for your support of our non-profit volunteer organization. Should you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share, you may reach us at www.lakeconroeassociation.com or e-mail me directly at parmgb@aol.com. We appreciate your interest and support.

Mike Bleier, President
Lake Conroe Association }

LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE

LCA PRESIDENT’S UPDATE
as of December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our Lake Conroe Association (LCA) Members and friends. We’ve been fortunate to enjoy a healthy Lake Conroe in 2015 that has seen above-average lake levels throughout the majority of the year. We can only hope for more of the same in 2016! Let me share a few updates with you.

LCA ANNUAL MEETING AND ELECTION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Our Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, January 15, 2016 at 10AM at the Administrative Offices of the San Jacinto River Authority (at the dam site off State Highway 105). We’ll meet in the 3rd Floor Conference Room. In this meeting, we tally the ballot/proxy votes for our Board of Directors for 2016, provide brief updates similar to what’s being discussed in this LCA President’s Update, and respond to questions from attendees. All are welcome.

The ballot/proxy for the election of the 2016 LCA Board of Directors is being mailed to our Members concurrently with this electronic LCA President’s Update. “Members” are defined as any individual contributing $100 or more (or any business contributing $250 or more) to the LCA since 2006 (the date of our last big fund raiser to combat the Hydrilla infestation in Lake Conroe). We are not actively soliciting contributions at this time as we have adequate cash reserves to meet projected expenditures for 2016. The 2016 Board nominated by the LCA consists of Gene Barrington, Tom Butz, Dawn Cleboski, Gene Colbert, Rich Cutler, Jim Pohoski, Ben Richardson, and myself. Members can nominate any/all from this list or write-in the candidate of their choice.

STATUS OF VEGETATION IN LAKE CONROE: In a Stakeholder Meeting with Texas Parks & Wildlife on October 28, 2015, a summary of aquatic vegetation on/in Lake Conroe was presented. In the world of “invasive” aquatic vegetation, the efforts of Texas Parks & Wildlife, the San Jacinto River Authority and nature itself have helped maintain a very clean and healthy Lake Conroe. Reported vegetation numbers were as follows: Giant Salvinia…..349 acres, Water Hyacinth……314 acres, Alligator Weed……196 acres, and Hydrilla…….0.01 acres. While 0.01 acres of Hydrilla would appear to make Hydrilla “all but eradicated”, those nasty Hydrilla tubers are still resting in Lake Conroe’s floor. It is presumed that as Hydrilla tubers start to sprout in today’s lake bed, the 5,155 White Amur Grass Carp that are estimated to still be alive are eating any new Hydrilla before it can spread. All of the Stakeholders pay close attention to Hydrilla quantities in Lake Conroe and regularly discuss if, and when, additional grass carp may be added to Lake Conroe. At this date, there are no planned purchases of additional grass carp. As to floating invasive vegetation such as Giant Salvinia and Water Hyacinth, the San Jacinto River Authority continues an aggressive spraying program to keep any further growth in check.

As to “native” aquatic Vegetation, you may recall that the White Amur Grass Carp introduced into Lake Conroe in 2005/2007 to control Hydrilla elected to move on to eat our “native” vegetation once they couldn’t find any more Hydrilla. Through the dedicated efforts of many “Stakeholder” organizations, an active planting program was implemented to re-establish valuable “native” vegetation. Prior to 2005, Lake Conroe had an estimated 2,000 acres of “native” vegetation. By 2010, “native” vegetation had been reduced below 200 acres. We are pleased to report that Texas Parks & Wildlife estimates a total of 1,215 acres of “native” vegetation today. The primary plants comprising “native” vegetation in Lake Conroe today include Black Willow, Sesbania, Panicum, and Water Willow.

SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY’S WATER TREATMENT FACILITY: The $500 million Water Treatment Facility and Pipeline Distribution System is complete. During July and August, the collective “system” was tested, flushed and disinfected….resulting in the use of less than one inch of Lake Conroe water. The first treated water from Lake Conroe was delivered in September, 2015. It is estimated that during the years 2016 – 2026, one inch of water will be removed from Lake Conroe per month (or a total of 12 inches per year) for use at the plant. Currently, all future users of treated Lake Conroe water have not completed their “receiving“ infrastructure and, therefore, may not be utilizing Lake Conroe water at this time. During October, 2015, less than 6/10 of one inch of Lake Conroe water was delivered through the system.

LAKE CONROE ELEVATION, RAINFALL & EVAPORATION DATA: I thought it informative to share with you some statistics related to lake levels on Lake Conroe during the twelve (12) months ended September 30, 2015.

As you might imagine, “evaporation” fluctuates year to year based on not only temperature but also variations between drought and wet years. From 1973 (completion of Lake Conroe construction) to 2014, evaporation for Lake Conroe has averaged 53.22 inches. For that period, the highest evaporation was 81.31 inches in 2011 and the lowest was 42.07 inches in 1973.

For a glimpse at our rainy Fall season and the continued “full pool” we have enjoyed on Lake Conroe, rainfall totals were 7.38 inches for October, 4.44 inches for November, and 4.01 inches for the first 22 days of December, 2015.

The “table” above totals water released from the Lake Conroe dam equivalent to 228.37 inches during the 12 month period ended September 30, 2015…..or approximately 19 feet of water across Lake Conroe’s surface. I point this out to illustrate the limited effect of removing an estimated 1 foot of water per year between 2016 and 2026 for use at SJRA’s Water Treatment Facility. Of course, we will not always have years like this and, undoubtedly, we will endure drought again. And as we move forward in years, it is anticipated that 4 feet of water per year will be used by the Plant during years 2036 and beyond. Continuing to explore ALL options for alternative water sources and maximizing conservation will be extremely important for our future. Having said that, let’s also not panic about the effects of removing 1 foot of water per year over our next 10 years.

SJRA WATER PRODUCTION IN SEPTEMBER, 2015: The San Jacinto River Authority provides water to entities contracting with SJRA to do so. Some entities such as sub-divisions like Bentwater, Walden and April Sound (to name a few) produce their own water via independently owned water wells and do not purchase water from SJRA. The following data ONLY represents the water produced by SJRA. While the following data does not report totals for all water production in Montgomery County (only water produced by SJRA), I still found the data to be of interest. This data reports on the month of September, 2015:

Groundwater (water well) Produced……….1,942,361,242 gallons
Surface Water (Lake Conroe) Produced……….94,555,000 gallons

Alternative Water Produced:

· Catahoula Aquifer………………….……10,064,419 gallons
· Reuse (septic reuse)………..……….…..19,730,000 gallons

LAKE CONROE WATERSHED PROTECTION PLAN: SJRA commissioned a Stakeholder Group of users across the San Jacinto Watershed (444 square miles) to review “best practices” related to keeping the water in Lake Conroe as clean as possible. While many valuable practices evolved from these meetings, I find one to be of great interest. Are you aware that over 1,400 residences within 2,075 feet of Lake Conroe operate their own septic system? 2,075 feet is very close to the lake. Are you aware that after the first two years of operation, the homeowner does not have to maintain or report on their privately-owned septic system? Poorly maintained septic systems this close to our shoreline provide the potential for serious lake pollution problems. As a result of this newly-implemented Lake Conroe Water Protection Plan (which has been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), all owners of Aerobic Treatment Units within 2,075 feet of Lake Conroe must submit maintenance reports every 4 months to SJRA. The maintenance report must be completed by an authorized maintenance provider licensed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). This practice is well do and will help maintain a healthy Lake Conroe for all of us. Specific details of this program may be obtained by contacting SJRA. Please note if you live in a sub-division providing septic services on your behalf, these homeowner rules do not apply to you and your sub-division already reports to the TCEQ.

THANK YOU for reading our LCA President’s Update. We hope you find something of interest. The Lake Conroe Association is a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization operating for the benefit of local residents and businesses around Lake Conroe. We have been in continuous operation since 1973. All work for the LCA is performed by volunteers. While we are not undertaking a fund raising campaign again this year, donations are always accepted at Lake Conroe Association, P.O. Box 376, Willis, Texas 77378. For more information regarding the LCA, to review previous LCA President’s Updates, or to contact us with your questions, please see us at www.lakeconroeassociation.com. Should you wish to contact me directly, you may e-mail me at parmgb@aol.com. Again, thanks for your support and have a safe and happy holiday.

Mike Bleier, President
Lake Conroe Association