As Lake Dunlap residents continue their search for funding to repair spill gates damaged last month, they’re looking months and possibly years ahead to the day water levels are restored.

Before the May 14 spill gate collapse that reduced levels by 12 feet or more, the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association petitioned New Braunfels City Council for its help in corralling aquatic vegetation on Lake Landa that flowed downstream and trapped trash in Lake Dunlap. 

While it now seems a moot point to some, the PLDA is moving forward with its plan to remove the weed beds during a 10 a.m. demonstration at Landa Lake on Thursday.

“Our residents have already suffered a lot,” Dunlap resident Alan Stigall said. “Once we get the water restored, those weed mats will come back if something isn’t done now.”

Stigall said Florida-based Weedoo has donated a boat for the demonstration, a motorized vessel equipped to remove between 300 and 500 pounds of vegetative matter per minute.

“It’s basically a boat with a four-yard bucket that extracts the mats,” Stigall said. “It’s designed to where it won’t trap any of the plants and some of the endangered critters living in the lake, and it’s powered by vegetative-based oil that won’t contaminate the lake.”

Stigall said the demonstration will last around three hours. He said Texas State University environmental specialists will inspect the extracted mats, which will be hauled to an area behind Landa Park Golf Course and later picked up by a local composting business. 

Stigall expects several city officials will be on hand for the demonstration.

“The removals of these weed mats also benefit the city,” he said. “They block out the sunlight from native grasses and endangered species living in Lake Landa. We will inspect the first mats to see if they contain fountain darters and plants during the process.”

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