East Texans Fear Low Lake Levels - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texans Fear Low Lake Levels

The continued East Texas drought has made an impact on everything from boating and recreation to fishing. One of the lakes hardest hit is Lake O' The Pines, a popular fishing and recreational area.  

Fewer boats break the surface of Lake O' the Pines, and fewer still try to fish this fall.  "We've been catching little babies, that's about it," said one fisherman.

The lake level is down up to eight feet in some spots. Islands of grass are now growing in areas previously used by boaters. In normal years the spillway at the dam is usually visited by hundreds of fishermen during the week. Now only die-hard fishermen show up. The fishermen are catching fewer and smaller fish. Houseboats now rest in grassy areas and numerous launch areas are now closed.

"There's several that's closed but some are still open.  It's because they can't launch because the water's so low," said Johnson Creek Marina owner Sam Edwards.

Although area marina owners say they've survived with healthy summer business, they're worried about the future if lake levels continue to drop.  "If it gets any lower that what it is now, we are going to be hurting definitely.  I've got a cabin that's setting on land right now. I've moved it put some more pilings on it," says Edwards.

Adding to the lake level drop,  the City of Longview currently draws around a third of its water from Lake O' the Pines. A number of other neighboring communities do as well.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com


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