Lake Waco Wetlands goes dry for improvements
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Even with no water in sight, there is still sounds of life at the Lake Waco Wetlands.
Not only are the crickets chirping, but plants are green despite the lack of water in the area. The wetlands' dry environment was created intentionally.
Tom Conry is the Waco Water Utilities Program Manager.
"Every so many years we do go ahead and allow the wetland to dry out. It is helpful for the plants and for the balance of the wetland," he said.
The Lake Waco Wetlands were manmade. Conry said the area has been drained to mimic the natural cycle of a wetland.
"We actually pump from Lake Waco into the wetland," Conry said.
The drawdown also gives the city time to do some maintenance work.
"Removing some sediment, repairing some of the berms that people walk on," Conry said.
After workers drained the wetlands, they attempted to rescue animals. However, not every critter could be saved. Crawfish can be seen retreating to a few puddles of water still around.
For the birds, Baylor Professor Marty Harvill says it is like a buffet.
"We are seeing some birds that we haven't ever seen here only during this drawdown. They're probably passing through and see it as an easy opportunity to have some easy pickings on some crawfish and other organisms," he said.
It's a habitat that Conry said is being altered for the best.
"The overall aquatic community has a better chance to revive and replenish," Conry said
This is the first time the Lake Waco Wetlands has been drained in the ten years it's been around.
Maintenance is expected to wrap up at the end of August.