Coal Burns Out in Texas Water Wednesday

| October 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Dominoes Begin To Fall In Texas

It may be a brand new day for the Texas environment, and we actually lived to see it happen. Taking three of Texas’ coal powered electricity generating plants offline means cleaner skies for Texas, less fallout in our water and healthier fish.

I have quietly railed against coal for several years now, and do believe that one of the great (maybe history will say the only great) things we will be left with from Obama’s years is – HIS positive impact on the environment, on our environment.

The closing of these plants will cost jobs, just as the horse stables and buggy whip makers lost their jobs with the coming of the horseless carriage. Families will be effected by this, and we cannot underestimate their insecurity and instability in this era of endemic underemployment, insanely low wages and people’s seeming inability to relocate to where jobs really are these days.

However, we rejoice at the idea of cleaner land, water and air – brought about by the huge growth in Texas wind power and natural gas. Texas is number one in the Nation when it comes to wind power, and we got there pretty darn quickly. Now, wind moves up in the percentage of power it supplies, and natural gas is the king of all power supplied in Texas (Yes, T. Boone, there is a Santa Claus).

The plants that are closing are:

  • Monticello
  • Big Brown
  • Sandow

Luminant still has a couple more plants open, and they are:

  • Oak Grove
  • Martin Lake

Closing the above three plants will cut 10-percent of Texas power plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, which amounts to 26-million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Coal has been on a downward trend since 2010 – more than half of the US’s coal powered plants have announced their “retirements” in this decade. In case you’re wondering. That’s a GOOD THING. Let us all just hope that President Trump doesn’t do anything else stupid – to prop up coal power, and just leaves coal as another of his empty promises, this one best left empty.

So what does this all mean for us down here where the fly line hits the water? Well, the snowy winters on deck fishing the steam clouds of Monticello are over (and have been for awhile). That power plant phenomenon – concentrated hot water concentrating the fish – gone. Monticello will just be a lake like any other East Texas lake (you know I love East Texas lakes, right?). And what I am wondering is: What other lakes will go the way of normal when they switch off the coal fires? I think I will get my crack research department on this and find out just which lakes are going cold, and let you know what we find out. IT WOULD be significant if a lake known for freshwater redfish (Calveras or Braunig) bit the dust. I’d have to hit that hard before it became the stuff of legend. We lost Fairfield as a redfish spot somewhat unexpectedly – years ago (rumors still abound as to why that happened and as to the presence of some redfish, by the way).

I came across an old article that can begin to fuel OUR FIRES for the winter. I have been across this topic before, but it was one I never thought would be pressed by the progress of the history of power generation. NOW, I think we better get these while the getting is good. Some are NOT coal fired cooling lakes, so there’s probably no hurry to those, but if it is a coal power cooling lake? The time to wait is over.

  • Squaw Creek Reservoir – Near Glen Rose – Granbury. Another Luminant power plant lake. However it cools water from the Comanche Creek nuclear power plant. It’ll be around for a few of our half-lives.
  • Gibbons Creek Reservoir (Grimes) – 20 miles East of College Station. Texas Municipal Power Angency. Excellent bass. Best months January-March. Translation – this is one to hit in winter. Coal powered.
  • Walter E. Long (aka. Decker) – East of Austin in Travis County. Excellent winter bass concentrated near discharge. Natural gas powered.
  • Coleto Creek – 15 miles southwest of Victoria. Dynegy. Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Another excellent fishery in winter – as long as you find the warmer water. Coal powered.
  • Braunig Lake – 17 miles south of San Antonio. CPS Energy. Highly rated red drum and hybrid fishery. Concentrated near warm discharges in winter. Unknown.
  • Calveras Lake – 20 miles south of San Antonio. CPS Energy. Less emphasis on winter months for redfish, but still rated excellent for March through August. Mixed power.
  • Fayette County Reservoir – 10 miles east of La Grange. Excellent bass in winter and again – concentrate on discharge. Coal powered.
  • Lake Bastrop – Near Bastrop. LCRA controlled cooling lake. Good all year, with no special emphasis on winter. Rated excellent for LMBs. Natural gas powered.
  • Martin Creek Lake – 3 miles southwest of Tatum. Luminant Energy. Rated good for bass fishing with best times being in winter. Coal powered.

You may notice that wherever redfish are present, the bass ratings are taken down a notch. It’s either competition or predation, or a combination of the two. How cool is that? If you are looking for reds, apparently you can search for some of the same indicators you find in the salt – schooling, bait pushing to top and birds.

Also worth note – plant closures have to be finalized by huge energy conglomerates (Ercot, I believe?), and if a coal plant does close, I have no idea whether it / they will reopen some day as a gas powered plant. Cooling for gas plants is also required. With wind creeping up the scale though? Who’s to say wind won’t challenge natural gas? The largest problem we have really isn’t supply. It’s storage, and that is the next big thing – storing energy for demand. Liquid cells anybody? A Tesla battery in every home perhaps? The future looks brighter today, doesn’t it?

 

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Causes, Complimentary Reading, Culture on the Skids, Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass, Fly Fishing for Redfish, Science and Environmental

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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