High water at Lake Sam Rayburn forces boat ramps to close

High water at Lake Sam Rayburn forces boat ramps to close

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - High water has forced the closure of several boat ramps along Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

The U.S. Forest Service has said at least five ramps will be closed until the water recedes. The closures are affecting some businesses that rely on boaters.

“If you can’t get on the lake, then they don’t need the lure to fish,” said Tammy Heline.

She and her husband have owned the Bass Strike Tackle and Marine store by State Highway 63 and 147 for about a year.

“We had three customers all day yesterday. It’s pretty slow. It’s pretty slow for us during the week,” she said.

High water has forced the closure of several boat ramps along Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The closures are affecting businesses that rely on boaters and fisherman. (Khyati Patel/Multimedia Journalist)
High water has forced the closure of several boat ramps along Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The closures are affecting businesses that rely on boaters and fisherman. (Khyati Patel/Multimedia Journalist)

On any given weekday, they average about 10 to 15 customers, Heline said. She said with each passing day, there are fewer fisherman heading the to the lake because of closed boat ramps.

On Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service said recreation areas along Sam Rayburn Reservoir are closed due to excessively high water levels in the lake and surrounding rivers.

Boat ramps at Caney Creek,Townsend, and Harvey Creek among others are closed until the water recedes. All of this is affecting business at Heline’s shop.

High water has forced the closure of several boat ramps along Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The U.S. Forest Service says at least five ramps will be closed until the water recedes. (Khyati Patel/Multimedia Journalist)
High water has forced the closure of several boat ramps along Lake Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The U.S. Forest Service says at least five ramps will be closed until the water recedes. (Khyati Patel/Multimedia Journalist)

“It’s too cold, and the water is too high. There’s debris in the lake. They’ve canceled tournaments for the safety of the boaters,” Heline said.

Lake levels on Thursday were at 174.76 feet, and its been around this level for more than two weeks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers monitors lake levels, and they continue to release water through the flood gates. in an effort to bring lake levels down to a manageable level.

Heline said she hopes circumstances change soon.

“Most definitely. We want it to stop raining for a little bit," Heline said. “We all need to dry out. We understand why as far you know Lake Sam Rayburn was built for, but eventually, it goes down and business will pick up again.”

The U.S. Forest Service says they have an open facility at the Sandy Creek Boat Ramp north of Highway 63 near the Angelina/Jasper County line.

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