Lakes Gonzales and Wood Lowered To Freeze Invasive Plants

Posted: January 7, 2010

For more information
LaMarriol Smith, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, (830) 379-5822 or email

GONZALES COUNTY - Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority work crews are lowering the levels of Lake Gonzales (H-4) and Lake Wood (H-5) approximately 1.5 feet tonight in an effort to control invasive waterhyacinths on those lakes.

GBRA officials are employing a natural and less expensive method than chemical treatments to kill off some of the plants by allowing nature to freeze the plants' root systems. "Because water tends to protect the root ball of the plants from freezing, lowering the lake levels will expose the root systems to the freeze, killing the hyacinth," explained Debbie Magin, GBRA's director of Water Quality.

The National Weather Service has forecast a hard freeze across much of the State, including a low of 23 degrees in Gonzales County tonight and 18 degrees Friday night. This hard freeze could have a significant impact on this nuisance vegetation with the lake levels lowered.

Last spring the GBRA, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), administered a vegetation management program to control waterhyacinth on H-4 and H-5 and had some success with the expensive herbicide treatments.

GBRA officials have not determined how long the lakes will be lowered, but nighttime freezing temperatures are forecast through Sunday night.

GBRA officials advise anyone using the lakes for recreational purposes during this time to exercise caution. Lower lake levels may expose debris and other potential hazards that are normally underwater.

Questions about the freeze treatment on waterhyacinths may be directed to Magin at GBRA (830)379-5822.

The GBRA was established by the Texas Legislature in 1933 as a water conservation and reclamation district. GBRA provides stewardship for the water resources in its 10-county statutory district, which begins near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and Blanco rivers, ends at San Antonio Bay, and includes Kendall, Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun, and Refugio counties.

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© 1998 Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority

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