A heavily bundled up man looks out over the murky waters of the Trinity River. A thick overcast is muting the sunrise sky to a washed out gray. His bright orange jacket stands out like highlighter marks on dull white paper. He waits for the thumbs up from his comrades on the airboat below. Within seconds, the mechanical lock gates create a stir in the still water. Salt and fresh water collide, waking up wildlife along the Wallisville Lake Project. Egrets and pelicans—the proverbial early birds—are getting their fill.