Tree Preservation and Removal Project

The Peninsula located along Figure Four Lake and within Fort Bend MUD No. 118 (MUD 118) common area is home to various species of native trees. This wooded reserve provides shade for park goers and refuge for the park’s wild inhabitants. While MUD 118 strives to preserve this natural area, there are times when intervention is needed to maintain the health of trees and safety of the public in a park setting. This includes tree pruning to maintain a safe canopy height, removal of dead or hazardous limbs and occasionally removal of trees.

In March of 2021, an evaluation was performed by a Certified Arborist assessing trees in MUD 118 park spaces. While the Arborist’s assessment included recommendations for actions that will reduce stresses, and boost growth through selective pruning and deep root fertilization, it was concluded that one Live Oak tree requires removal. The tree that is planned to be removed was found to have a non-treatable form of fungal disease that commonly attacks trees suffering from bark damage or other stresses that increase a tree’s susceptibility to pests and disease. While the tree is still alive and has continued to perform its seasonal routines, the Arborist identified signs of decline including fungal growth and die back of young branches in the canopy, and decay of the trunk and main boughs of the tree.

The recommendation for removal was based on a collection of factors including the severity of existing decay, lack of signs of healing or new growth, and proximity to and potential of spreading the disease to remaining and otherwise healthy Live Oaks. Many common tree fungi spread through the air or are carried by pests from one tree to another. As this Live Oak declines, the likelihood that the disease will spread to other nearby trees increases. According to the Arborist’s report, because this disease cannot be treated, this tree will continue to decline until mortality. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the fungal disease and removal is the best method available to preserve nearby trees and prevent future tree mortality.

The actions outlined by the Arborist and approved by MUD 118 include the removal of the detrimentally unhealthy Live Oak and implementation of preservation techniques for other trees in the area. In addition to the on-going care and maintenance of existing trees, MUD 118 is planning enhancements to District parks that will include the reforestation of areas that have experienced tree loss due to selective removal of hazardous trees, construction, and natural mortality. The project is planned to begin in 2021 and will incorporate various landscape and park improvements as well as the planting of more than one hundred trees of varying species throughout District green spaces.

For questions and additional information please contact MUD 118 through the District website’s contact page: https://www.fbmud118.com/contact/

Or by telephone to the District’s Park Facility Manager: (832) 956-0868

Fishing and Fish Stocking

Visitors to Figure Four Lake may not know that the lake is operated by Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 118 (MUD 118). While the lake serves as a detention/retention area to help manage storm water and prevent flooding, it is also utilized as an amenity for the community providing natural areas, manicured green spaces, walking trails, and numerous fishing opportunities.

In the first quarter of 2021, MUD 118 completed a survey of the lake habitat and is now implementing a fish stocking program to improve the overall quality of fishing in Figure Four Lake.  To conduct the survey, fish were collected from the lake and evaluated. After recording observations about the fish including the size, weight, and species, each fish was returned safely to the lake. The observations recorded were then utilized to evaluate the health and population density of the various fish species found in Figure Four Lake.

The quantity and species of fish to be released for the planned stocking was determined by the findings of the survey and is expected to help balance the habitat and ensure a healthy and stable population of fish. The stocking is scheduled to take place in March of 2021. MUD 118 plans to continue to monitor and improve the natural habitat and fishery of Figure Four Lake to maintain a heathy and productive amenity for years to come.

Fisheries Survey (PDF)

Post-Freeze Fish Mortality

Residents of Fort Bend County MUD No. 118 may have noticed that the recent freezing weather has caused some non-native fish species to die. The species impacted most were primarily Plecostomus and Tilapia. Both species are non-native tropical fish which have a significantly lower tolerance of prolonged exposure to low water temperatures compared to native species of fish. As water temperatures drop, their metabolism slows, and immune system becomes weakened. Once this happens, the chances of these fish expiring increases significantly. Even as air temperatures rise into the 70s, water temperatures can remain in the 50s. This prolongs the stresses of cold temperatures on the fishery resulting in fish succumbing to the elements several days after the freezing weather has ended. This is referred to as delayed mortality. Because of this delay, observers are often confused by the timing of the deceased fish’s appearance at the surface.

To alleviate this nuisance, the District is working to remove as many deceased fish from the lake as possible, but unfortunately not all fish will surface at the same time and park goers will continue to see deceased fish in the lake and along the lake shore until all fish of susceptible species have surfaced.

New Splash Pad is Now Operational

The new Splash Pad behind the swimming pool is now operational for this year. The rules and usage requirements are posted on a sign on the pad. Enjoy this park addition sponsored by your MUD.