Drought Watch: Wildlife In The Lakes

Many people are concerned about the water restrictions because of our current drought situation, but the truth is we aren't the only ones feeling the heat.  Wildlife in the lakes is also being affected.

Lake Arrowhead's shoreline is far from where is should be.  As the water moves further and further in, wildlife is forced into a smaller space.

Supervisor of the Texas Parks and Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Tom Lang said, they are having issues with the loss of habitat because of the drought.  However, he still prays for rain just like everyone else in Texoma.

"Wildlife needs water too and we need to save some for them.  Conservation is not a sometimes this, it's an all the time thing," Lang said.

There are many trees, rocks, and woody debris lining the shores at the lakes, but they are normally underwater and would provide a home for fish.  Lang explained it's a spawning habitat for fish.  It also gives a place for fish to hunt and hide.  Unfortunately the ecosystem is being affected.

The fish and other lake wildlife are crowded because there is less water.  In addition, they also have to put up with poor water quality.

Lang said, "The fact is that poor quality does bring in several chronic stressors that can cause fish calls and we've seen a few fish die off."

Specifically some Buffalo at Lake Arrowhead have been killed off because of the water quality.  They are considered prey for Cat Fish and without them they have to resort to other prey.

The damage done from the drought won't be easy to fix even though there is heavy rain in the forecast.

"If the lakes filled up tomorrow we would still have issues for the next couple of year," Lang said.

Now the mission for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Island Fisheries never changes.  Their goal is to provide the best fishing experience out there, but they need your help conserving to ensure that.

For a closer look at the fishery head to their Facebook page.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6.