FRIENDS OF LAKE AUSTIN INC via Crowdrise
May 24, 2012
BENEFITING: FRIENDS OF LAKE AUSTIN INC
Dear FOLA Supporters,
May 1, 2012 a treatment proposal from the City of Austin, FOLA and LCRA was submitted to TPWD to stock 15,200. This proposal was approved and is waiting for our fish permit applications.
The City will purchase 3,000 fish. They have already submitted a permit application for their fish to TPWD.
There was a valiant attempt at coordinating the purchase offish so there would be one permit but the bureaucracy involved too many approvals and agreements, and time is of the essence. Therefore, LCRA and FOLA will also submit permit applications to TPWD for the fish they purchase.
Good news. LCRA has officially committed $30,500 to help in the purchase the remaining 12,200 fish allowed in our treatment proposal. The City and LCRA both have to go through a bid process, which is now underway. The fish bids will be in next week and then fish orders will be made. Because the hydrilla continues to grow, fish orders need to submitted as soon as possible.
If the fish bid prices are $5.00 per fish, then LCRA's $30,500 will buy exactly 6,100 fish or one-half of the remaining 12,200 fish needed. As per our agreement, FOLA will be responsible for the purchase of the other 6,100 fish.
WE NEED YOUR HELP. So far our FOLA fund raising efforts have collected only $10,050. Hydrilla eating grass carp are a well proven, time tested and a chemical free method to control hydrilla. This is the first opportunity in this 12 year battle with hydrilla to finally get permits to allow a much higher stocking rate that could completely put hydrilla under control. Our goal was to raise $38,100. (The fish could cost more than $5.00, because the average price has been $6.00)
It appears that we will have prices and everyone will be placing fish orders next week (May 31, 2012). We will not reach our goal unless everyone pitches in to help by next week. This control plan will not have a chance to work unless all the 15,200 fish are stocked.
Thank you for your support.
Friends of Lake Austin
MAY 2, 2012
Dear Friends of Lake Austin supporters,
Yesterday was a historic moment in the fight to combat hydrilla in Lake Austin.
At a meeting at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department headquarters, TPWD agreed to permit the stocking of 15,200 grass carp. As you may recall, earlier this year FOLA was able to negotiate an agreement with TPWD that would allow this stocking to be approved if certain conditions were met.
The 15,200 fish that were approved are more than seven times the average stocking amount and will double the estimated number of fish in the lake. This new stocking is our best chance to date to gain control of hydrilla.
As reported in an earlier email, the biggest challenge now is finding the money to purchase the grass carp. As we predicted, TPWD has no funds due to severe budget cuts. It will therefore be up to the remaining stakeholders (FOLA, City of Austin and LCRA) to find the money for the grass carp stocking. At today's meeting, it was tentatively decided that the City of Austin could pay $15,000 and that LCRA and FOLA would split the balance.
On average, the price for grass carp has been $6 per fish, but the price has ranged from $4.50 to $7.50. If we use $6 as an estimate, the total cost for the stocking will be $91,200. With the City of Austin funds, FOLA and LCRA would each need to pay $38,100. Although I consider this to be a fair arrangement, it is only tentative. The LCRA has never contributed to this effort and there will need to be high level decisions made before we know if LCRA will help.
It is also important that we raise enough money to stock all the fish in the permit. A partial stocking is possible (if we are not able to raise the money) but additional stocking of any unused fish in the permit would not be allowed. It is very important that all the fish be stocked at once to ensure the best potential for success.
The "treatment proposal" for this new permit has already been drafted and the permit from TPWD will be issued in a few days. Our biologist has already talked to fish vendors and we could stock the fish within the next 30 days. But, it appears the stocking of the fish will more dependent on raising enough money to pay for the fish.
If you wish to mail in a check please send donations to:
Friends of Lake Austin
5536 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78756