LLFoR in the Media

Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs 2016 Water Willow Project Video

LLFoR in the News

Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs planting project receives attention in county paper

The Polk County Enterprise ran an article regarding the current success of the LLFoR planting project in their Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 edition.

Recognition of our 10-year project is always a good thing! As of July 2016, nearly 5,000 American water-willow aquatic plants are taking root at 13 sites around Lake Livingston, beginning the long process of re-establishing fish habitat, helping to prevent bank erosion and filter the water.

Please view the article PDF Enterprise Article July 3, 2016

Texas Master Naturalists Heartwood Chapter Participate

Heartwood chapter members participated in the ongoing Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFOR) project.

This is a massive 10-year project involving numerous organizations and volunteers. Heartwood chapter members volunteered with others to plant 360 American Water Willows along the northern mouth of Pools Creek on the west side of Lake Livingston. The project…

To read more, please visit: http://txmn.org/heartwood/2016/08/08/lake-livingston-volunteer-project/

We thank them for their recognition and support of our project!

Nearly 5,000 Plants Prepared for Lake Livingston

Nearly 5,000 Aquatic Plants Ready for Planting by Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs

Livingston, TX, July 21, 2016:  Braving the summer heat, two groups of volunteers clipped starter tips and transplanted nearly 5,000 American Water-willow aquatic plants, pushing forward on a goal to plant 10,000 per year to “Bring Lake Livingston Back to Life.”  Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR) is working to defray the costs of buying plants by perfecting a propagation system that is increasing plant inventory quickly with the help of a growing corps of volunteers.

Lake Livingston Volunteers no.1LLFoR’s largest all volunteer group of 26 gathered on July 18 to propagate 3,500 plants in a record three hours. A smaller group of 14 transplanted 1,200 plants on June 27. Most of these transplants were tipped, creating starter plants that will be ready for transplant to larger pots in a few months.

“We have developed an experienced core of volunteers, who know what needs to be done, and they get it done quickly,” said Tom McDonough, LLFoR Project Director.  “Our goal of maintaining a 10,000 planting-ready inventory is within reach. We’re just 1,700 plants from that goal and beginning to see expansion in our lake plantings.”Lake Livingston Volunteers no. 2

The transplanted aquatic plants must be submerged in grow tanks, and are maintained by students and instructors in six local independent school districts: Livingston (LHS & LIS), Corrigan-Camden, Onalaska, Shepherd, Goodrich, and Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISDs. McDonough and Project Inventory Manager Pam Klouda delivered transplants to the schools for ongoing care until they are planted in Lake Livingston. After putting out a call for extra help at Onalaska High School, Onalaska Mayor Roy Newport and his wife showed up to assist in getting 600 plants into the school’s tanks.

Three plantings of 300-400 plants by partner volunteers are planned for July and August.   Two larger student/partner plantings of 3,500 plants each are planned for September 2016 and May 2017.

Lake Livingston Volunteer no. 3McDonough is managing this 10-year project with partners Texas Black Bass Unlimited, Trinity River Authority, and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Additional volunteers come from the Polk County Hookers, San Jacinto County Master Gardeners, and the Piney Wood Lakes Chapter, Texas Master Naturalists.

For more information, to donate to help LLFoR “Bring Lake Livingston Back to Life”, or to help in planting and propagation, contact Tom McDonough at (832) 236-0723.

Stay up to date with LLFoR! Check out our Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/LLFoRorg.

LLFoR is a 501 (c) (3).  

 

We are “Bringing Lake Livingston Back to Life

State Rep. James White Long Time Supporter of LLFoR

Texas State Representative James White has been a long-time supporter of Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs and our project goal of “Bringing Lake Livingston Back to Life”. LLFoR appreciates his support!

James White Letter_700x912

Spring 2016 LLFoR Newsletter

First Spring Planting Adds 2,100 American Water-Willows

LLFoR had its first-ever Spring Planting Tuesday, May 17 with 120 students from 5 ISD’s, 17 teachers, and 57 adult volunteers working to plant 2100 American Water-willow plants at TRA’s Wolf Creek Park. The LLFoR volunteer organization worked flawlessly with most pre-assigned supervisory roles or project functions.

Upon arrival, all students and teachers were guided to their assigned areas, received their gear, and immediately set to work planting2016-spring-01 approximately 900 plants at two sites on Indian Creek and 1,300 plants at 3 sites in Wolf Creek. When students weren’t in the water planting, they were trimming and propagating, sterilizing pots, and helping with other onshore projects. Over a 1,000 2016-spring-02plants were propagated with their help.

We are on track to produce 10,000 plants a year, another milestone.

All work was completed and lunch began at 11:30 am, cooked by host school Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated High School. With all volunteers, including the students and teachers, site clean-up and loading of all equipment went quickly.

We owe big thanks to Bass Pro Shops for gifts to the students; Brookshire Brothers in Coldspring for delivering the lunch perishables to Wolf Creek Park and their LLFoR donation.

Recent High Water Threatened New Plants; Still They Thrive

2016-spring-03After the most recent planting, Lake Livingston rose to its highest levels since Hurricane Rita, threatening the newly planted American Water-Willows. We were all holding our breath to see if the new plants survived, so we inspected the five sites, plus the five sites in the Kickapoo Creek area (planted Fall 2015) on Saturday, June 11.

Over 90% of the plants in Wolf and Indian Creek areas appear to withstood the flooding and high water. The plants stayed in place and are growing (see photos).2016-spring-04

Kickapoo Creek area appears to have survived as well, and the plants are thriving (again, see photos). Remember the Kickapoo plants are now 9 months old, and are growing as TPWD, Inland Fisheries had predicted. The first year’s growth2016-spring-05 is approximately one square foot per surviving plant. We observed some plants with less growth than that and some with more growth. The amount of sunlight received is likely the determining factor. In our future plantings, sunlight exposure will be taken more into account.2016-spring-06

Even the plants in the low light conditions appeared healthy but require more time to become well established.

First Area Replanted

LLFoR, Texas Association of Bass Clubs and Texas Black Bass Unlimited2016-spring-07 re-planted in Livingston State Park (site of first volunteer  planting in 2014) Area on Saturday, June 17. The initial planting was too deep in the water, so they did not make it. This time, they were set into 6 inches of water.

This is our second all volunteer planting, with two more scheduled for July and August. We expect to plant approximately 350 plants in areas where it is not practical to take students.

Volunteer/Staff Base Growing

LLFoR is looking like a team instead of a couple of retirees who had nothing better to do. We now have leaders in several key areas:

  • Onshore Project Lead: Pam Klouda, a Project Manager at UPS, has already streamlined many of our processes and
    accounted for all “starter” and “lake ready” plants. Sounds simple, but tracking thousands of 2” plants and getting
    them into 4” pots is a BIG job, and propagating them when ready is critical to cutting costs of buying plants.
  • Communications: Beth Miller of Communications that Blossom is now responsible for this newsletter, public relations,
    and electronic communications with the public, our partners, volunteers, and our Business Leader’s Council. We’re
    planning to increase the project visibility to attract volunteers and donors.

Texas Black Bass Unlimited is paying to have a professional video produced, with a short version already being used in presentations. The full video should be ready in a week or two.

We’ve had a great Spring and are looking forward to our best Summer months. Help is still needed for propagating and planting while school is out so please contact LLFoR if you don’t mind a bit of hot humidity.

Follow us on Facebook (LLFORORG). Thank you for your support of our website www.LLFoR.org. For more information, please contact Tom McDonough at TLM77351@iCloud.com.

We are “Bringing Lake Livingston Back to Life

Winter 2015 LLFoR Newsletter

LLFoR logoLLFoR’s Winter was not typical of past Winters. The last three months were busy and productive.
The largest amount of time was spent on the “Best Practices Guide” (BPG). We incorporated all onshore operations and water operations into one guide, which is slightly less than 100 pages. We plan to update the BPG each Winter and redistribute it to the schools. Next on the agenda was the completion of the $20,000 grant from Friends of Reservoirs (FoR). We needed to have all the funds spent by March 31st, and the books closed with the Federal Government. This enabled us to apply for a 2016 grant through FoR. The good news is we were able to submit a new grant request; the bad news is LLFoR does not have the funds to carry us through 2016. You guessed it, fund raising was the next item on the agenda. We took two courses of action; the first was a raffle, and though the final accounting is not in, we did fairly well; the next item was LLFoR formed a “Business Leaders Council” (BLC). What we are attempting to do is get 20 companies, local governments, organizations or individuals to commit to donating $500 per year for the nine remaining years of the project. The BLC is off to a good start, as after two months, we are over 25% of the way to our goal. The BLC donations will be key going forward, as we most likely cannot apply to FoR for a Grant every year. This will provide us bridge funding and gives us the flexibility to do some funding of items which the Federal Government will not allow grant funds to be used for, as well as provide funds for the years we do not get FoR funding.

The first 4 to 5 months of 2016 have been tough for growing plants, due to colder than normal weather, overcast skies and lots of water coming into the Lake. TRA has done a great job in pulling the lake down to pool and not causing flooding downstream. Getting plants started and ready for the Lake planting has been an extremely slow process. Thanks to TPWD, Inland Fisheries they have purchased another 1,250 plants for us. THANK YOU!

We have two Student plantings scheduled for mid-May and late August. We also will attempt two volunteer plantings during the summer. The key here is getting enough plants “lake ready” and have enough left over to propagate for the following year. To this end, LLFoR has added a Project Manager and a Horticulturist to it’s burgeoning staff of three (a 200% increase). I welcome Pam Klouda (former Project Manager at UPS and current Master Gardener) and Zack Slayton (Horticulturist and owner of Texas Living Landscapes) to LLFoR. Pam’s job is to take our project to the next level of organization and Zack’s job is to get LLFoR and the schools producing 10,000 plants per year.

There are many exciting conversations going on with TPWD and TRA. New planting methods are being discussed (I call it the E-Z Button Method). We are also discussing with TPWD about possibly starting to grow Softstem bulrush or Great bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabenaemontani [Scirpus validus]) in the aquatic tanks which would include propagating these plants and including them in the student planting trips. This plant is also Grass carp resistant and can grow from the shoreline into three to five feet of water.

I hope all of our Newsletter subscribers are visiting our website, www.LLFoR.org. For the most recent updates on the project, follow us on Facebook, LLFoRorg. Should you know of a company or organization interested in being a member of our Business Leaders Council, please contact me. I also want to thank all the students, staff and volunteers who have helped us over the past 12 months.
THANK YOU!

Tom McDonough, Project Director, Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs

Bringing Lake Livingston Back To Life

Fall 2015 LLFoR Newsletter

October through February is a slow time, which allows us to clean old tanks, install new aquatic tanks, start planning for the Spring planting, develop our new Best Practices Guide, review our budget, and complete all outstanding deferred action items.  A lot of important items get done during this timeframe.  I was out checking the plants the students planted on September 15th, and some were over a foot above the water surface.  It will not be long before the plants go dormant, and soon afterward, you will not see any plants until the water warms up in the Springtime.

In early November, we presented our Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs (LLFoR) Project to the National 2015 Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership meeting hosted by the Utah Department of Natural Resources, They were great hosts, and all enjoyed this Ogden, Utah conference.  The scenery was awesome.  Approximately 20 states were represented and presented on their restoration efforts, as well as Australia and Brazil.  Texas Parks and Wildlife, Inland Fisheries were there in force to present various restoration Texas projects.  Everyone agreed Texas was way-out in front on impoundment restoration.  There were a lot of questions and many comments on the LLFoR Project.  After the 4 day meeting, I drove to Albuquerque, NM to visit with Stewart Jacks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Regional Director, Region 2 (Texas is in Region 2).  It was a good meeting, and we picked up some excellent brochures which will be posted on the www.LLFoR.org website.  Mr. Jacks was knowledgeable about our project on Lake Livingston.

LLFoR logoWe have a new logo — thanks to our webmaster, Karl Engstrom with CoastIT.com. Beth Miller of Communications that Blossom has our FACEBOOK page up and running (LLFoRorg). Our website, www.LLFoR.org, has the Onalaska High School video of the Fall Lake planting and the LLFoR Utah presentation posted. Please check it out.

I want to thank all the students, staff, Partners and our volunteers for helping our LLFoR project throughout 2015.  Thank you for “Making It Happen!”  LLFoR has applied for another grant from Friends of Reservoirs, which is key for our operations in 2016.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed.  Best wishes for the Holidays, and we hope to see you back in 2016 (we need your help).

Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs in the News

The Polk County Enterprise recently ran an article about Tom McDonough’s national presentation to Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership in Ogden, UT

Polk County Enterprise – LLFoR outlines local aquatic program at Utah conference

National Fisheries Habitat Partnership Hosts Lake Livingston Friends Of Reservoirs

Utah Department of Natural Resources Host The Event

Ogden, UT. November 6, 2015:  Utah’s Department of Natural Resources hosted the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership and Friends of Reservoirs 6th Annual Meeting in Ogden, Utah. Reservoir fisheries habitat issues in the US are some of the most challenging issues facing fisheries managers.  No single component of fish habitat is more vital than water quantity and quality.

The highlights of the technical portion of the program included a presentation on Reservoir Partnership-funded projects to compile reservoir fisheries habitat restoration Best Management Practices (BMP’s).  They strive to provide technical assistance to both professional and lay groups that are tackling challenging habitat restoration efforts.  This catalogue of BMP’s should be available online in the next year.  In keeping with the local/regional focus of the meeting, several presentations specific to issues in Utah were on the agenda.  These presentations included New Mexico and Texas focusing on managing fisheries habitat in the face of drought and challenging water management regimes.  There is no better reservoir shallow-water fish habitat than native vegetation.  Not surprisingly, these types of projects are funded annually through the Reservoir Partnership grant program.  There were several talks on the agenda highlighting the use of native aquatic vegetation in a reservoir habitat management program.

One exciting aspect of this year’s meeting was the presence of international Australian and Brazilian speakers, a first for this annual event. These scientists came to share their experiences and learn from ours.  As mentioned earlier, fish habitat restoration is a collaborative effort, and it is gratifying to see we can reach across borders.

The Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs project (LLFoR) was presented on Saturday by Tom McDonough, Project Director.  The project discussed the importance of the six Independent School Districts in growing, propagating and planting the aquatic plants into Lake Livingston.  Also discussed was the role of the projects advisors, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and the Trinity River Authority.  The two managing partners are Texas Black Bass Unlimited and the Piney Wood Lakes Chapter, Texas

Master Naturalist, and there are an additional 24 partners.  The LLFoR accomplishments and future plans were also reviewed.  The September 15th Onalaska High School video regarding the first lake planting by students was also shown.  To view the video, please click here.  Both the New Mexico and our Lake Livingston project are using students in habitat reconstruction.  Tom McDonough, the LLFoR Project Director was pleased to present our project to the participants.  Next year’s conference will be held in Table Rock, AR.

For more information, please call Tom McDonough at (936) 344-1137 or e-mail at project-director@llfor.org.  If you are interested in having LLFoR project presented to your local affiliation or church group, please contact Tom.

Ogden Utah Habitat Partnership

Tom McDonough discussing LLFoR’s Project in Ogden, UT