Members of the Lake Houston Sports and Recreation Foundation are continuing to work hard to improve the quality of Lake Houston. Their latest project includes adding a significant amount of healthy new vegetation to the lake. David Otis, one of the LHSRC founders, described the vegetation project. “The program we are copying is a program that the Seven Coves Bass Club (Lake Conroe) started in partnership with the Texas Department of Wildlife and the San Jacinto River Authority. Within five years, they have improved over 1,500 acres of shoreline native vegetation in Lake Conroe. That native vegetation is very beneficial for wildlife, water clarity, erosion and of course, the fish love it. All of the new plants reproduce very quickly and are very durable and they also will replace and outperform other species like [the invasive] hydrila, which we all have a problem with. The vegetation is being delivered to us in May or June by the Texas Department of Wildlife. They are going to bring us enough plants to start the vegetation project in Lake Houston and also enough to start our nursery,” he said. The group has built several nursery boxes so far, each four-feet by 16-feet. “We are building the boxes behind Cedar landing and across the canal. That is Roger Randall's location where he teaches handicapped children to ski [through Texas Adaptive Aquatics]. He has allowed us access to his waterfront property and that has made this project possible,” he continued. In addition to the vegetation project, LHSRC is also continuing to work on a restocking program. Last June, the group, working with the Texas Department of Wildlife, released 10,000 Florida strain bass fingerlings (three inches long) into the lake. “This year, with the help of the Texas Department of Wildlife, we are told we will be releasing 100,000 fish into Lake Houston. In five to six years, someone is going to catch an 11 or 12-pound bass out of this lake, and it will probably be a direct benefit of this restocking program. The goal of the restocking program is to bring the overall genetics up. These new fish will end up mating with other fish, that aren’t Florida hybrid. Through a gradual restocking program, we will improve the overall genetics of the lake,” Otis said. The restocking program, combined with the vegetation program, should make a significant change in the lake, Otis said. “We will be able to make a big difference in Lake Houston, just with our little old local committee, which is pretty cool.” The vegetation and restocking projects are funded primarily by donations and by fund raising events. Two separate fund raising events will be held in April. The annual LHSRC Golf Tournament will be held April 5 at Tour 18. Registration begins at noon and the entry fee is $100. In addition, LHSRC will be hosting its second Take a Kid Fishing Day/Junior Fishing Championship April 27. For more information, visit lakehoustonsports.com. Photo: Steve Bethel, Butch Sharpe and David Otis are working to increase the healthy vegetation in Lake Houston through the Lake Houston Sports and Recreation Foundation.

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