Lake Sommerville Dam Tour

The primary function of LID 15 is to prevent Brazos River flooding, and Lake Sommerville is the closest flood control reservoir in the watershed. Lake Sommerville is approximately 100 miles upstream of LID 15 and is located about 10 miles north of Brenham, Texas. On April 22, Fort Bend County hosted a tour of the Lake Sommerville dam and spillways with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE is considered a world-wide leader in dam and levee safety, so the tour was attended by numerous Levee Improvement District (LID) officials from Fort Bend County, including members of the LID 15 Board of Directors.

The Lake Somerville dam (pictured below) can hold back more than 507,500 acre-feet (165 billion gallons) of water. This incredible volume of water has a major impact on Brazos River flood conditions downstream in LID 15. Therefore, the operations and maintenance of Lake Somerville directly impacts emergency responses across Fort Bend County. The tour allowed LID representatives to get an up-close view and gain first-hand experience with reservoir operations on the Brazos River. The event was also a networking opportunity to meet with other professionals that manage flood risks in southeast Texas.

Lake Sommerville Dam and Spillway in Background. Pictured in Foreground: Marcus Schimank – USACE, Glen Gill – LID 15 Assistant Secretary, and Rohit Sankholkar – LID 15 President (left to right).

Lake Sommerville Emergency Spillway – Fort Bend County Tour Group

Nutria Abatement

LID 15 is scheduled to perform additional nutria abatement June 2 during the overnight hours: 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.  The District continues to address maintenance issues in Riverstone lakes and wetlands that are caused by nutria.  Nutria are considered an invasive species, and in 2020 the District started a program to control their population in Riverstone. Nutria are more than a nuisance animal, as their burrows can cause stability issues with the levee. They also consume and destroy valuable wetlands vegetation that LID 15 is legally required to maintain under federal law. Due to potential risks to the levee, wetlands, and public health and safety, the nutria must be removed from the community.

To successfully remove this invasive species from the community, pest control contractors must work late at night in public parks that are adjacent to homes and backyards.  The contractors will be present in wetlands area around Riverstone and all personnel will be uniformed and clearly identifiable to residents.  The District has also coordinated with the Precinct 3 Constable to patrol the area in case any residents are alarmed or unaware of this public notice.  The District appreciates the communities patience dealing with nutria issues and thanks residents for their understanding and consideration.

Alligators in LID 15

Several alligators have been spotted recently in Riverstone lakes, but at this time they have not exhibited behavior that would be defined as “nuisance” by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Alligators are native to LID 15 and can be found in the lakes and bayous around the community. LID 15 follows the guidance and regulations set by TPWD for trapping and relocating alligators.

If You See an Alligator

Many Texans will live in close proximity to these native reptiles with no confrontations, however, there are occasions when certain alligators become a “nuisance” and must be handled by the proper authorities. The current legal definition of a nuisance alligator is “an alligator that is depredating (killing livestock or pets) or a threat to human health and safety.”   TPWD is the only authority that can deem an alligator a nuisance because of their protected status, and LID 15 relies on TWPD to perform any removals.

Alligators have a natural fear of humans and usually retreat when approached by people, however, the following are instances in which local authorities should be notified:

  • If you see an alligator in the roadway;
  • If an alligator is repeatedly following boats, canoes or other watercrafts, and/or maintains a close distance without submersing; or
  • If you walk near the water and an alligator comes straight toward you, especially if it comes out of the water.

If you notice any of these “nuisance” behaviors, contact LID 15 using the following link and the incident will be reported to TWPD: