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TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal #13294222 09/26/19 10:28 PM
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Aubry Buzek Offline OP
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Sept. 26, 2019

TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal

A recent media release by the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association (PLDA) stated that stump removal was underway at Lake Dunlap with full approval and with permission from TPWD. This statement is inaccurate. TPWD staff did not approve or consult on this ongoing stump removal project and was unaware of these stump-removal efforts until obtaining the PLDA media release dated Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

TPWD does not have jurisdictional authority to make such an approval. Sole authority for this type of approval lies with the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority (GBRA). The GBRA notified TPWD on September 26, 2019 that GBRA would be permitting the ongoing stump removal in order to document the removal and quantify damages and loss to structural fish habitats. Furthermore, a verbal commitment was provided by GBRA to replace structural fish habitat losses, authorized or unauthorized, that occur while the lake beds are exposed. TPWD staff prefers that structural habitats be left in place where practical. In some limited cases where stumps must be removed for public safety concerns, we will work with controlling authorities to help mitigate the loss of fish habitat.

Background information on the issue:

TPWD has a successful history of working cooperatively with reservoir controlling authorities throughout the state to preserve and enhance structural fish habitats, which are important in supporting valuable reservoir fisheries. During the drought of 2011, water levels were reduced in lakes throughout the state, resulting in structural habitats being dewatered and exposed, making them susceptible to cutting and removal by local groups. During 2011-2012, TPWD cooperated directly with the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority to assist in their development of a stump-removal policy and permitting process protective of structural fish habitats in the Guadalupe Valley Lakes, including Lake Dunlap.

Upon the failure of the flood gates at lakes Wood and Dunlap, and upon learning of the recent proposal by GBRA to conduct drawdowns of the remaining Guadalupe Valley Lakes, TPWD recommended efforts be taken by GBRA to preserve structural fish habitats exposed in the dry lake beds. Specifically, TPWD supported proactive education and outreach efforts by GBRA to local constituents to discourage and avoid cutting and removal of structural fish habitats from the lake beds, especially tree stumps. TPWD recommended that GBRA stump removal guidelines be a focal point within GBRA’s outreach efforts. TPWD also recommended that if any removal of structural fish habitats occurred, GBRA stump removal guidelines be observed.


Aubry Buzek, TPWD Press Office
https://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/
Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Aubry Buzek] #13294299 09/27/19 12:00 AM
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Bob Landry Offline
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We have seen what a wonderful job TPWD did with the use of grass carp to control hydrilla in Lake Austin. No more hydrilla, no more vegetation, no more fish.
Thanks, TPWD, but we are probably better off without your help.


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Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Bob Landry] #13294357 09/27/19 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Landry
We have seen what a wonderful job TPWD did with the use of grass carp to control hydrilla in Lake Austin. No more hydrilla, no more vegetation, no more fish.
Thanks, TPWD, but we are probably better off without your help.

This is a serious question. Where did all the fish go when the hydrilla was removed? Did they die? Was there a way for them to get out of the lake? The reason I ask is because I see this said a lot and I just don't understand why there are no more fish.


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Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Bob Landry] #13302103 10/05/19 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Landry
We have seen what a wonderful job TPWD did with the use of grass carp to control hydrilla in Lake Austin. No more hydrilla, no more vegetation, no more fish.
Thanks, TPWD, but we are probably better off without your help.


Texas is renowned for having great bass fishing opportunities. Do you think that it happened by itself?

Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: machinist] #13302135 10/05/19 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by machinist
Originally Posted by Bob Landry
We have seen what a wonderful job TPWD did with the use of grass carp to control hydrilla in Lake Austin. No more hydrilla, no more vegetation, no more fish.
Thanks, TPWD, but we are probably better off without your help.

This is a serious question. Where did all the fish go when the hydrilla was removed? Did they die? Was there a way for them to get out of the lake? The reason I ask is because I see this said a lot and I just don't understand why there are no more fish.


According to TPWD surveys there are bass and other fish in Lake Austin. They are just hard to catch with rod and reel since the submerged vegetation was eradicated. As I understand it, that was an unintended consequence of a committee (TPWD and other groups) decision to aggressively treat for hydrilla. Hydrilla coverage had reached historic proportions and was of concern because excessive growth had previously contributed to holding back water during high flows leading to some flooding of waterfront property and clogging LCRA intake structures.

Grass carp stocking started in earnest in 2004 and as the records show, Lake Austin was a stellar fishery even with the grass carp there. Conventional wisdom was that even if the grass carp ate most of the hydrilla, they would not touch the milfoil because of its unpalatability, so there would still be fish habitat. The grass carp thought otherwise. Left with no choice, they ate what was available. The fishery was drastically changed. TPWD was not happy about that.

Hard as it might be to believe, people don't start working for TPWD with the aim of making fishing worse. I would wager most of them grew up hunting and/or fishing, and are Republicans.

Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Aubry Buzek] #13304172 10/07/19 03:22 PM
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This has been the problem since grass carp were first thought about 40 years ago. People in the supposed know can't figure it out. It's simple the animal kingdom will eat what ever they have too in order to survive. DAH

Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Aubry Buzek] #13305784 10/08/19 11:00 PM
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The grass carp in Lake Conroe did great! (Sarcasm) And when it was low, some people took it upon themselves to remove more stumps then the SJRA approved, who would have thought that?


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Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Aubry Buzek] #13310104 10/13/19 04:37 PM
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The year after the grass was removed the fishing on Lake Austin remained good. Even some 35-40lb limits. It has slowly regressed into a barren lake compared to what it was. The grass has been gone since 2012. So each year you lost more big fish due to age, etc and no way to replenish those classes of fish. The carrying capacity was greatly reduced and here we are. It's still a lake with bass, a few big ones, but they are nomadic now with no cover.

Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Aubry Buzek] #13311807 10/15/19 12:19 AM
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There were some monster Blue Cats caught in Conroe years ago before the grass carp were introduced.

Not anymore though. frown


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Re: TPWD Issues Statement Regarding Lake Dunlap Stump Removal [Re: Jarrett Latta] #13314372 6 hours ago
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Originally Posted by Jarrett Latta
The year after the grass was removed the fishing on Lake Austin remained good. Even some 35-40lb limits. It has slowly regressed into a barren lake compared to what it was. The grass has been gone since 2012. So each year you lost more big fish due to age, etc and no way to replenish those classes of fish. The carrying capacity was greatly reduced and here we are. It's still a lake with bass, a few big ones, but they are nomadic now with no cover.


That pretty much sums it up. I'm pretty sure the carp have effectively spilled into Lady Bird Lake also. I even see them below there in the lower Colorado. They just flat out put way too many in there.

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