Waco wetlands feeling pressure of drought

POSTED: Monday, August 8, 2011 - 4:24pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- At a place where water is key for survival the Lake Waco Wetlands is holding steady but still feeling the heat.

"The drought is affecting us due to the water levels changing in the Bosque River. We are capable of pumping in about 11 million gallons of water a day into the wetlands. But since this drought we're only pumping anywhere between 5 to 6 million gallons of water a day," said Nora Schell, of the Waco wetlands.

The variety of plants in the wetlands helps to clean the water before pumping it into Lake Waco but when the levels are low so is your quality of water.

"Since the water is at the lowest, it does tend to suck up some mud so the water quality isn't as high as it could be even as it left the wetlands because of the, the amount of mud that's coming in," said Schell.

And normally the wetlands are a haven for wildlife but not anymore.

"The snake population suffers, along with the fish population. Obviously if there's not that much water there's not going to be much fish in here. and um, our birds suffer in here at the same time," said Schell. 

But animals aren't the only ones adjusting one local fish researcher has had to make major changes in his work.

"Basically we went from looking at growth and reproduction to looking at, growth but also mortality now. And basically keeping these things alive is is, these fish alive in these cages is difficult," said Matthew Dekar, a local researcher.

And Schell explains this is all just part of nature.


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