AUSTIN— After nearly a decade of low water levels hindering boating opportunities at Lake Colorado City State Park, the lake levels are on the rise thanks to recent rainfall.
The park lake covers over 1,600 surface acres at normal levels, but had fallen to just 20 percent capacity in recent years, too low to launch boats from the ramp. The low water levels also created high salinity levels and resulted in cool water temperatures in the fall and winter, which led to concentrations of active golden algae blooms. These environmental factors have impacted the fishery and wiped out most of the lake’s water recreation.
“Many prayers were answered this past week when nearly 9 inches of rain fell on the Morgan Creek, a watershed that feeds the lake,” said Kyle O’Haver, superintendent at Lake Colorado City State Park. “Within 72 hours of the last major rain fall the lake was showing water levels not seen in many years.”
Within a week of the recent rainfall, the lake was almost 50 percent full leading to a total rise of 8 feet at Lake Colorado City.
The park has opened one floating dock so far and park staff is preparing the boat ramp and hope to be able to launch boats soon.
The current status of the lake’s fish and algae situation is still unknown. Staff is hoping that the inflow of freshwater from the recent rainfall will lower the salinity levels and prevent future algae blooms.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries division will monitor the levels of golden algae and look forward to better conditions for the next year. If golden algae testing and water levels show sustained improvement, fish may begin to be restocked in the lake.
“The park and community are thankful for what we have received and still hope and pray there may be more to come,” said O’Haver. “We will continue working together to bring this gem of a state park back to its former luster.”
For more information about the park, visit the TPWD website or contact the park at (325) 728-3931.