The Cypress Creek Project is a collaborative process initiated by stakeholders to preserve water quality within the watershed for present and future generations. Along with strong community partnerships, the project is facilitated by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and is financed by grants from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the Environmental Protection Agency Region VI.
October 31, 2013 Floodin Cypress Creek - Photos
Cypress Fish Kill
September 26, 2013
Occurred on Cypress Creek segment 1815 on 9/9/13
Cypress Creek in Wimberley, Texas recently experienced a fish kill of 25 largemouth bass and sunfish on September 9, 2013. Texas Parks and Wildlife Kills and Spills was contacted by Nancy Russell, a Texas Stream Team citizen scientist. Alan Butler from TPWD investigated the report on September 12, 2013 and concluded that the fish kill was caused by low dissolved oxygen levels.
The low dissolved oxygen likely resulted from effects of afternoon thunderstorms. During hot weather, surface water and deeper waters form a thermocline, or layer separating the regions of temperature. All photosynthesis and oxygen production occurs in the warmer surface waters. When thunderstorms drop cold rainwater on the surface of the creek, the thermocline is broken and the oxygen-deficient deeper water mixes with the surface water limiting the oxygen in the water column and can potentially cause fish kills. These effects can be exacerbated by low flow levels that cause the water to stagnate. This fish kill occurred when Jacobs Well, an artesian spring at the headwaters of Cypress Creek, stopped flowing for only the fifth time in recorded history.
Butler reported noticing a strong sulfur dioxide smell at the site. Sulfur dioxide is the byproduct of anaerobic bacteria that are present in sediments with little or no oxygen as was most likely the case with the creek bottom.
The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association and the Texas Stream Team at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment will work with Kills and Spills Team biologists to continue to monitor the site to identify fish that are stressed or dying.
Click the title above to check out this video about Cypress Creek. It was produced by Robert Currie and Karen Boden, Texas Master Naturalists - Hays County Chapter and includes interviews from many local Cypress Creek devotees. The creek, in Wimberley and Woodcreek, has touched their lives, some for many generations. Threats to the system have residents worried about the future of Cypress Creek.
Hill Country Alliance
Be sure to check out the Hill Country Alliance's Water Resources page for valuable information on water issues affecting Central Texas.
Visit hillcountryalliance.org for more information.
Real Time Streamflow at Jacob's Well