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Apr 27

Update August 12, 2015

Posted on April 27, 2017 at 4:53 PM by Michlynn St. John

The following provides information regarding the draining and dredging of the Boys Ranch Lake and the wildlife preservation efforts during this process.

Wildlife at the Lake
Prior to the draining of the lake, the City of Bedford worked directly under the supervision of the Texas Parks and Wildlife to remove and relocate as many fish as possible within the Boys Ranch Lake to Lake Worth. This process took place on Tuesday, August 18. Since that time, staff have gone above and beyond meeting the requirements of the Texas Parks and Wildlife by continuing to extract and relocate remaining fish and turtles. These efforts have occurred daily since last Tuesday, which includes daily inspections of the lake and wildlife - and the relocation of fish and turtles as the lake continues to drain. In addition, the contractors hired for the Phase 1 park renovations are also working diligently to help in the preservation of the existing wildlife.

As the lake continues to dry, staff will make every effort to relocate the remaining turtles to the surrounding water channels within the park. The contractors have left water inside those channels specifically for the ducks and turtles. Staff has advised us that during their daily inspections, they have witnessed multiple turtles finding their way to these channels. Our intent is to continue assisting the wildlife into a new habitat.

The City has made every effort to try and preserve the wildlife at the Boys Ranch Lake by not only consulting with the experts at the Texas Parks and Wildlife, but also going above and beyond their mandatory requirements. We will continue to put forth those extra efforts with the remaining wildlife. (Please note: The City cannot relocate the ducks. Due to an on-going "duck virus," the City is restricted from physically interceding on behalf of the waterfowl. These guidelines have been in place for several years.)

Odor at the Lake
Currently, there is an odor associated with the draining of the lake. The odor is stemming from the large volume of silt that lined the bottom of the lake. The lake has not been dredged in approximately 31 years. As the lake continues to dry, the odor will become less noticeable. Once the lake is dredged, the odor will be completely eliminated. Dredging of the lake is a necessary process in order to maintain a healthy habitat for the wildlife.

Island at the Lake
The removal of the island has always been part of the Parks Master Plan. Renditions and discussions regarding the removal of the island date back as far as 2009. This project was discussed at multiple City Council meetings, along with a Town Hall meeting. Additionally, information including artist renditions and a Phase 1 timeline have been posted on the City's website for the past couple of years. To our knowledge, every rendition has clearly shown the reconstructed lake without the island. You may access this information on the Boys Ranch Phase I page.

The City of Bedford is excited about the improvements to the park and lake and the enhanced quality of life it will provide to our residents and the wildlife. The Phase 1 project is projected to be completed in November of this year.

Boys Ranch Lake Fish Relocated
On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Bedford Parks personnel worked in conjunction with the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) to relocate the fish within the Bedford Boys Ranch. An extensive effort was made to capture and relocate as many of the lake fish as possible. TP&W supervised the project and all relocation efforts were in accordance with TP&W guidelines and approval.

In any project such as this, it is impossible to successfully capture every fish. The lake draining and dredging are proceeding. TP&W has provided a telephone number should any lake visitors have any questions or concerns regarding this project. TP&W contact numbers are as follows:
  • Raphael Brock, Texas Park and Wildlife Department Fisheries Biologist
    Phone: 817-732-0761
  • Greg Conley, Texas Park and Wildlife Department KAST
    Phone: 903-520-3821