Low Lake Levels Deter Boaters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Boaters are being urged to use caution on North Texas lakes because of dangerously low lake levels that bring a host of new hazards below the water's surface. (Published Monday, Mar 10, 2014)

    The Army Corps of Engineers is reporting low water levels at lakes throughout Texas.

    The prolonged drought and growing population in the area are the largest contributing factors, said Randy Cephus, public affairs specialist for the Corp’s Fort Worth district.

    Cephus said Lewisville Lake is down to 513.98 feet from its normal level of about 522 feet.

    Lake Ray Roberts has also dipped to 624.6 feet from the usual 632.5. However, the largest drop in the state right now is at Lake Whitney, south of the Metroplex, where levels are down 13 feet, Cephus said.

    Longtime anglers and beach-goers at Lewisville Lake said they’ve already noticed the dip this year.

    "Fished it quite a bit, the lake fluctuates quite a bit,” said Art Kinney, who reports seldom seeing the lake this dry. "It’s a foot and a half deep in some parts of the lake, so we need some rain bad."

    Kinney and several other boaters said they’d seen boats hitting shallow patches or debris in the lake, which caused significant damage.

    “Last time I was out here, my dad tried to put his boat in and he broke the propeller,” said Caitlin Duruy who was sticking to walking the beach Monday.

    Cephus said there is a serious concern about boats being damaged or people being injured trying to jump into the lake and hitting a shallow spot. He reminds folks that Lewisville Lake, and most in North Texas, are man-made and can often times have everything from trees to cars littering the lake bed.

    The Army Corp of Engineers said the levels will likely stay low until the area experiences some significant rain or an end to the drought. Cephus recommends people treat the lakes like entirely new lakes and never assume an area’s depth.

    Cephus wants to remind folks that the lakes in North Texas are shared resources and that everyone needs to do their part during the drought by conserving water when they can.