Lake Livingston Restoration

Current Updates:

Friends of Lake Livingston Feb 2019

Winter 2018                   Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs News

LLFoR Pushes Outreach and Science Beyond the Lake

If we’ve learned anything in the past several years it’s that the ecology effort of our project is bigger than just Lake Livingston. In 2017 we partnered with Texan by Nature to join the state-wide conversation on ecology and conservation. That partnership, initially, brought us high levels of visibility and a kind of cache with Mrs. Laura Bush’s visit. We stay in touch with them, exploring other mutually beneficial opportunities.

Project Director Scott Ball is attending the Feb. 24 annual luncheon for Houston Wilderness as an invited guest. Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy helped facilitate the introduction that we hope will lead to potential donors and partnerships.  Our approach with Houston Wilderness is to describe how our work to increase aquatic habitat will improve the quality of Houston’s water.

Improving the science behind LLFoR’s project is the subject of several upcoming meetings.  We recently met with Texas University (San Marcos) Meadows Aquatic Ecology Research Center.  Another meeting is scheduled with AgriLife’s Dr. Todd Sink in College Station where he leads the Master Naturalists aquatic biology research effort.  Additional contacts have been made to meet with Dr. Gary Dick with Lewisville Aquatic Research Facility on new planting methods, and with Dr. Jeff Wozniak at Sam Houston State University to learn about his regional ecology research.

Additionally, the team is exploring new planting approaches, such as implementing the founder colony approach used in the early 1990s on Lake Conroe.  Our goal is to implement planting procedures (once approved by Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) and Trinity River Authority (TRA) to better protect new plants from the elements and herbivores.  These ideas, include using coconut shell logs (COIR) as frontage along erosion-prone shorelines and adding new plant species to fill in behind the shore creating new habitat. These have all proven successful in other lakes in Texas.

We finally received the link to a great video created by Texan by Nature, documenting our partnership kick-off last September, with our honored guest Former First Lady Laura Bush.  It was well worth the wait. Watch Here.



TDC Ellis/Lee College Partnership Flourishes

Our partnership with Lee College and the TDC Ellis Unit Horticultural program has flourished and expanded into the major source of LLFoR plant propagation.  The inmate growers are now Master Naturalists and enthusiastic ecology champions, with the Heartwood chapter teaching new classes each year.  You can learn more about the impact LLFoR had on them indirectly through master naturalist instruction in the video they produced which won first place at the 2017 Master Naturalist conference in Corpus Christi.



New Planting Sites Being Identified

Last year  Steve Barr and Dan Ashe conducted a site survey that showed only a 50% success rate in our plantings.  To ensure more protected sites, we are working  with TRA and TPWD to identify sheltered creeks and coves, many on the northern end of the lake. These should allow better progression of American Water-willow by shielding them from the semi-tropical breezes that can become less than gentle.

Steve Barr is also working with the Ag and Horticulture teaches at our 8 schools to begin a series of smaller plantings. They will also participate in growing the new plants under review. LLFoR’s next major planting is scheduled for May 4, site to be determined.  The smaller creeks and coves are better suited to small planting teams.

Help LLFoR Create Aquatic Habitat

LLFoR is completely volunteer and self-funded. You can become an LLFoR Planter by sponsoring supplies and materials, our only major costs.

  • $50 buys a year of potting soil for 100 new plants
  • $75 buys 500 4″ pots, 10,000 used annually
  • $250 buys 200 50-plug seed trays, 1 year supply
  • $700 buys materials for a new grow tank

Click to Donate and enter the level of donation you wish to make.


Contact the LLFoR Board

Project Director – Scott Ball
Director Finance – Outreach – Ron Diderich
Director Research & Monitoring – Steve Barr
Director Communications – Beth Miller
Horticultural Specialist – Scooter Langley
Boat Captain – Jerry James


Salute to Our LLFoR Partners


Rebuilding Aquatic Habitat on Lake Livingston

With 450 miles of shoreline, Texas’ second largest lake is losing natural aquatic habitat and seeing fish populations decline.  Lake Livingston, once a premiere bass fishing lake in east Texas, is nearly devoid of aquatic vegetation, which greatly impacts the fishery, bird, and reptile habitat; and the water quality.

In just three years, Lake Livingston Friends of Reservoirs has:

Planted nearly 10,000+ American Water-willow

  • Enlisted 7 school districts with 150 high school students to propagate, grow, and plant the water-willows
  • Attracted a multigenerational volunteer pool of nearly 250 adults and high school students.
  • Built an inventory of 10,000+ water-willows in various stages of development for future plantings

With the full support of partners Texas Black Bass Unlimited , Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Inland Fisheries, and Trinity River Authority; and community organizations like San Jacinto County Texas Master Gardeners, LLFoR has become one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S. We’ve also been asked by our partners to apply what we’ve learned by documenting our best practices in a manual and accompanying program.

Our success in this program delivers four key benefits:

  1. Reestablish a thriving aquatic habitat
  2. Filter the water to reduce silting and increase clarity and quality
  3. Reduce shore erosion
  4. Eventually, increase tourist activity in our region

Please help us turn Lake Livingston into a vibrant and alive recreational area for fisherman and water enthusiasts, and a thriving habitat for birds, fish, and wildlife by donating to For more information on our progress, visit or follow us on LLFoRorg.

PLANTING                                                                        PROPAGATING




Kickapoo Plants Reaching 18 inches and Spreading

Kickapoo Plants Reaching 18 inches and Spreading

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