TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Ron Mc
The state record brown trout came from Dunlap, and people on McQueeney catch rainbows all the time.
A lot of cold water is about to be lost, and yes, dam safety and maintenance should be a high priority.
The words "steel structure integrity" in the article makes me think this is going to last for decades.
Thanks for the link.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
I feel sorry for the home owners. OUCH!
I read the article and thought “and?” As in and then what? And what are you going to do next?

I also wondered about all that water going downstream into the marshes and bays??
User avatar
By Ron Mc
as long as that release is controlled against monsoon runoff, it's a plus to ANWR - freshwater discharge is where calcium for mollusk shells comes from.

When it gets bad is when freshwater phytoplankton bloom and replace the normal marine phytoplankton.
I don't think the rate and amount of discharge will cause salinity stress compared to what we've already seen over the past year's monsoons.
User avatar
By Neumie
I think a shot of freshwater to the estuary before the fall shrimp hatch will be a good thing.

I also agree the lack of some sort of plan to correct the flood gates after the draw down is alarming. Bet they're still going through with their new 6-7.5 million dollar office.
User avatar
By impulse
I wonder how many $$$ hundreds of millions in waterfront real estate value they're putting at risk when all those high dollar homes are no longer on the water?

Seems like they could have worked something out long ago when the problem became obvious, instead of pulling the proverbial (and actual) plug. Or maybe that's their cunning plan...

One thing I'm pretty sure of. It's not about the safety of the trespassing folks we see in their photos.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
that's their plan, buy the property cheaply, repair the dams and go into the real estate business. :mrgreen:

The trespassing is a Homeland Security thing - when I was growing up, we caught white bass below every dam on the Colorado - now it's all sealed off from terrorists.
User avatar
By impulse
Ron Mc wrote:that's their plan, buy the property cheaply, repair the dams and go into the real estate business.

The trespassing is a Homeland Security thing - when I was growing up, we caught white bass below every dam on the Colorado - now it's all sealed off from terrorists.

I was thinking something a little less insidious...

Like draining the lakes to pressure someone (?) to come up with the funds to keep the GBRA afloat in spite of their revenue shortfall from the sale of electricity. Maybe vote in some kind of MUD tax to maintain the dams even when the electricity doesn't produce enough revenue. On one hand, that would benefit some portion of the folks who have waterfront (and the banks holding their paper). On the other hand, it would be the general population subsidizing those who can afford, and chose to buy waterfront property.

It would be interesting to audit the books... And to be a fly on the wall when they discuss the next step.
By Steve-Oreno
It seems to me that since none of these small lakes are there for flood control or water supply, that they are now only vanity lakes. They served a purpose 90 years ago when hydro-electric power was a happening thing, but now it just isn't that important for small flows. In the 1800's, small flow rivers and streams were the place to put your gristmill because that was the only option for power. Today, not so much. I'd like to think that the kayaking community would be happy to see the river go back to it's natural state, even though it may take decades. Maybe the lakefront landowners would put less effort into manicuring their lawns with fertilizers, that sooner than later end up in the water system. Don't get me wrong, I feel for folks that bought lakefront property and their woes over this, but rivers should be rivers.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Of course I was teasing, but I'll take them at their word about needed inspections and repairs, especially after the Dunlap floodgate failure.
These are 90-y-o dams that need major maintenance.
You're probably correct about their business practices, and the electric power market is pretty steep competition between CPS and IPPs (Independent power producers) - essentially, law requires the grid to prioritize buying excess power from IPPs.
We are going to see the price of water increase because of greater demand on a finite supply. What I eventually hope we'll see is a water pipeline network - a state water grid, similar to the electric grid, distributing Desal water from coastal stations. If that doesn't happen, the next drought will begin by killing the rivers, and follow by killing the bays.
Though I think they're already ahead of me - saw a water pipeline in construction from Corpus crossing SH188.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
Might be more call for solar and/or wind generated electricity.

And yes, water is a whole other thing. My wife has said for a very long time that we are going to run out of water before we run out of oil. We had lake front property in NM and the drought in around 2005 had our “lake” about a mile away! The lake pretty much returned to the natural river bed. We saw first hand what a lack of local water did. They started charging by the gallon! Talk about hearing a bunch of folks stuck in their ways bitch! Learning to concern water is not a bad thing.

And how old is Canyon Dam? 61 years? I hope they are planning for the future after seeing all this. I do know they are constantly doing routine maintenance......
User avatar
By shoffer
My thoughts on this issue.

1. I want to be there when it is about 25% away from being completely dry. Imagine how good the fishing will be!
2. I think the event is somewhat historic. I don't remember any major body of water ever being drained in my lifetime.
3. The silver lining is (a) think of all the cool stuff you can find in the lake bed once it is drained - esp. in McQueeny; and (b) an avid fisherman can create his own structure while it is dry - doze your own humps and drop-offs, put out some brush piles, and wait.
4. I am sure many will see property tax valuations dramatically lowered, so I guess that helps a bit.

Seriously, though, that really sucks for people who paid tons of cash for waterfront property, and years of elevated property taxes.

Draining starts on September 16. I wonder how long it will take and when can I start tromping around the lake bed looking for treasure?

RonMc - you don't live far from there. When it gets right, shall we meet with our wading boots and fish the lowered lake and then later, when the water is gone, scout some treasure on the (former) lake bottom?
User avatar
By Ron Mc
it may be hard to get a boat to and from the fishing

I'd rather fish the other direction on the Guadalupe - Center Point and Hunt

btw, know of an atty who just finished a $250k house construction on Lake McQueeny - all glass overlooking the lake
By Welderdude
While I do understand that the dams need MAJOR work to remain safe, this is another instance of the River Authorities being totally and completely untouchable by the public. The directors are appointed by...the Governor, and they answer to...the Governor and only the Governor. LCRA has grossly screwed up the Colorado River bass spawn for the last 3 years, and it showed last Sunday...17 bass with only 4 weighing over 1 pound. Somehow, as citizens of the State of TEXAS, we need to bring some control of the PUBLIC rivers back to the PUBLIC!!! I feel very badly for the property owners along the Guadalupe, who paid dearly for the waterfront, and typically carry a large percentage of the tax burden for the entire county, but cannot cry for them because their weekend getaway has a little more backyard than it used to. The only answer I see is to make the River Authority answerable to us, not the Governor, and somehow get them back to their roots of electricity sales, not screwing up the few enjoyable water recreation areas that are left.
User avatar
By Neumie
A temporary injunction has blocked the de-watering of the lakes: Texas Tribune

If the state steps in a funds the repairing of the dams then they damn well better put sufficient public access to McQueeny and Gonzales lakes and additional access to Dunlap, Placid and Meadow.

What happens to and who owns Stracke Reservoir Dam (between Placid and Meadow)?
Blue Sky 360 with tower

At $4000.00 its going to take some time to sell.

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