Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Rising Water Of Lake Travis

The water level of Lake Travis, seriously reduced due to abnormally high heat this past summer, and the effects of a two-year drought, appears to be making a rebound.

Significant weather systems in October brought heavy rain as they made their way across the hill country. As a result, things look much better today than they did a month ago. At first, the rain did little to help the situation, as the parched soil absorbed all of the water and released very little into the creeks and rivers which feed the lake. Eventually, however, as the soil became saturated with water, the runoff started filling the lake.

On September 28th and 29th of this year, the water level stood at 629.8 feet above mean sea level. Today, on November 1, 2009, the level of the lake stands at 647 feet. That’s over a 17 foot rise in just a little over a month. It’s impressive, and important, but there is still a long way to go. Full pool for the lake is 681 feet. So the drought, and its impact on the lake, is still present.

Nevertheless, the positive effects of the rising water is noticeable. My wife and I take a swim every evening in the lake, and during those days when the water level was at its lowest, we had to venture far out into the lake just to reach water above our heads. That’s no longer a problem during our swims. Most recently, we only have to go out a short distance before the lake bottom disappears under our feet. Additionally, many boat docks, which not long ago were landlocked, are now once again connected with the lake.

There are a great many more boats on the water as well. For the most part, the public boat ramps were closed for the summer. This greatly reduced the boat traffic, and by late September, watercraft on the lake almost exclusively consisted of small boats and jet skis. Today, there were yachts, speed boats, sail boats, and fishing boats all over the lake.

And, with respect to those fishing boats, the fishing has picked up considerably with the cooler water temperatures. The fishermen are reporting success catching Black, Striped, and White bass. Crappie and catfish are also being caught.

All in all, it’s nice to see the lake bouncing back. And while things are not yet where they need to be, things are definitely looking better.

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