WOW! The past 90 days have been a whirlwind of activity! Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR) added the Corrigan-Camden High School to its list of partners, for a total of six ISD’s involved in the habitat restoration project. We have one more School District, which has expressed interest in joining forces with us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
released the grant funds to LLFoR, allowing us to complete our purchases, so students can participate in the planting of the aquatic plants. Donations have slowed, as we have not been knocking on doors asking for money (during the late Spring until the end of Summer), instead we are busy propagating, growing, installing aquatic tanks and doing LOTS of planning and negotiating with ISD’s on planting dates. The best news of all is that on Tuesday, September 15th, we had 99 students and school staff volunteers and 39 adult volunteers to plant over 2,000 plus plants into the Kickapoo Creek area of Lake Livingston. It was a great success, and we started and finished on time. It was great to see the students taking charge in the planting of the aquatic plants into the shoreline and islands. There were some problems. The barge we lined up to carry the majority of plants could not get its engine started. So, our boaters had to do double duty in ferrying students and
plants to the sites from the Waterfront Lodge and Marina. The wind was blowing into the plant loading area, and it took longer than expected to get the plants and students loaded. Some of the boaters did not get site maps, so there was some added confusion, but the students and volunteers took it all in stride. There were some extra plants, so a sixth site was selected on the fly, and it was also planted. The Trinity River Authority (TRA) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Inland Fisheries brought four volunteers each, two air boats and two large john boats. These four boats held a large amount of aquatic plants. Thank you!
Onalaska High School hosted the event, and did a tremendous job as Hosts and planters. The FFA students were busy during the six-hour event with loading plants, planting, taking pictures and videos. At the end of planting, they fed all students, staff and volunteers. My thanks go out to the FFA students, Adam Graham, Jessica Graham, Georgiana Penny and Principal Anthony Roberts, Go Wildcats!
Texas Black Bass Unlimited came to our rescue and donated over 4,000 feet of orange schedule 40 PVC pipe which will be used for site planting signs. Livingston Intermediate School has agreed to install two aquatic tanks, Corrigan-Camden will take two aquatic tanks, and Livingston High School will take another two aquatic
tanks. We currently have 22 aquatic tanks either installed, or in the process of being delivered. Joe Snow Aquatic Plants, Denton TX, showed us how to grow Water-willow in a green house. Shepherd and Livingston High Schools will start growing starter plants year around. That will be a BIG help in getting to 10,000 plants a year. We are also going to try several new planting methods and will be discussing that with TRA and TPWD.
We recently submitted a grant application to Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership for 2015. Statement of Work and some Federal forms will still be required should we be selected for the 2015 Grant.
We encourage you to visit our website www.LLFoR.org for additional information about this project. You also can contact me, Tom McDonough, Texas Black Bass Unlimited board member and Director of Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs attlm77351@iCloud.com or Jim Meyer of the Piney Wood Lakes Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist at jameyer06@Gmail.com.
We want to thank all of you for your participation and support!