Lake Businesses Drying With Drought - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/6/06-Longview

Lake Businesses Drying With Drought

        No lake activity and very little fishing have those who live in the Lake o the Pines area worried about what the future will hold.

    "When you can watch it go down a foot a week then that's pretty bad, the waters down the kids can't fish in front of the boat you can't walk up and down the ramps" said Lake o the Pines houseboat owner Terri McDaniel.

     The lake is at an all time low elevation of  224 feet. Boat houses, usually full of weekend visitors, are now vacant and in the mud, and theres a danger of permanent damage to house boats.

      "Mainly i don't want it to get on ground and get where it buckles, then something tears up" said McDaniel.

       Bait and tackle shops are empty and marina managers are struggling to make ends meet.

   "Didn't expect this at all, you'd have boats all over the lake right here, and now its little or nothing" said Johnson creek marina operator Sam Edwards.

    Even in winter, there would be boaters and fishermen out here. Thousands of dollars are being lost in business that lake economies desperately need. And even die-hard fishermen are finding it tough.

    "I've never see it this low, and it makes it hard for you to catch fish" said fisherman Anitha Jackson.

      67-thousand gallons a day are pumped out to the city of Longview, and theres no rain in the near future. Officials with the Sabine river authority did tell us today that "Lake o the Pines" is in good shape to provide water to area cites, and can go another 6 months without rain and still easily meet water needs. A prolonged, year long drought however could result in a conservation plan which would include "rationing". Bob Hallmark reporting.

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