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Environmental Committee - Biologist Report

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Greetings, Lake Vilbig Residents!

August 2023

This letter is to talk about our August 2023 management efforts. I came out once in August on the 30th. Overall, things look really good. I don’t know that there is a lot to say. Summer in August in Texas is not a lot of fun. Especially 2023. Breaking records for days above 100 F and days above 105 F, just plain miserably hot outside.

On the 30th. Again, the water temps were just hot. I measured water temps of 88 and 90 F all around the lake. We have to stay diligent when water temps are this high. Everything is just trying to survive. That’s about all creatures can do when temperatures get this unbearable. We had some fish activity. That is a good thing. You know fish and other aquatic species are very adaptable, so as long as there aren’t any massive, abrupt changes, everything generally pulls through just fine. It is when we get crazy rapid changes that problems can occur. pH was still high, at 8.5, and alkalinity was 140. Even the water level is shallow. They looked like 18-20 inches to me. And water clarity was pretty straightforward. I measured depth readings around 36 inches. There are still a lot of geese and some ducks around, but not much of anything else.

Other than that, everything looks good. I looked for vegetation in several areas and was unable to find any. It is challenging for anything to grow when temperatures are this warm. There is a range of temps where plants grow. Plants shut down when water gets this hot for this long, much like terrestrial plants. I even noticed that the alligator weed was struggling a bit. Several patches were yellow. The same goes for the plankton bloom we usually see; if the water is too warm, the plankton can’t survive. This is the reason for greater than normal water depth readings.

Thanks, Vilbig Residents!

Chad Fikes

Fisheries Biologist

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