Texas Water
10:49 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thanks To October Rains, LCRA Pulls Request To Stop Water Flow Into Matagorda Bay

The Lower Colorado River Authority has rescinded its request to block the flow of water headed downstream into Matagorda Bay from the Highland Lakes.

In the early part of October, the LCRA issued an emergency request from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but this Tuesday they said recent rains that led to flooding in sections of Central Texas brought the lake levels up to a suitable level.

"These critical flows are the amount of the water that’s needed to maintain a refuge area at the mouth of the Matagorda Bay at the entrance to the estuaries, that little area where fresh water mixes with the salty water of the Gulf," said Jennifer Walker with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Gulf Shrimper Buddy Treybig said freshwater inflows from the Colorado River play a huge part in the ecosystem and for businesses like his.

"You have to have fresh water from the rivers all the time year around," Treybig said. "They produce food for the bay, for the shrimp for the oysters. I mean, oysters have to fresh water anyway, shrimp have to have fresh water, that’s what makes the eggs hatch."

Treybig said the fresh water from the Colorado also factors in to the bay water’s salinity, which is what reduces the fish-killing algae known as "red tide."

Treybig said the LCRA needs to stop this way of thinking and he remains skeptical that the bay won’t see another threat of being cut off from fresh water.