ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Just 13 months after new boat ramps opened at Cassels-Boykin Park, some fisherman say they're useless.
"You got cracks in the concrete foundation," fishing guide Lynn Atkinson said. "This slab here has a little crack."
Atkinson fishes all over East Texas.
He says these cracks are at the top of a list of problems plaguing the new ramp.
"It's all not straight and there's a lot of debris on the ramp, a lot of dirt," Atkinson said.
It's a unique feature of the new boat ramp, but it's also the biggest obstacle for boaters. These large curbs that separate the different ramps. They lead all the way down under the water.
The curbs are hard to see when Atkinson backs his boat down.
"I've seen several that come and tried and backed up and left," Atkinson said.
On the other side of the park, Atkinson says the old ramp is seeing more traffic. Rows of parked boat trailers seems to support that.
"They feel safer over here even with the problems this one has," Atkinson said.
Backing a trailer down a ramp with deep holes and temporary patches is still easier to use.
"It's the proven ramp," Atkinson said.
The county's newly hired parks director, Jason Kartye, says low lake levels brought these issues to the surface.
"Of course you never want to see problems on your ramps, but we're afforded a good opportunity now to be able to remedy some of the problems," Kartye said.
He says the fluctuating lake levels may have been overlooked in the original design of the new ramp.
Now there's a chance to fix it.
"It's gotta be done now while it's low," Kartye said. "There's a small window."
An engineer is working with construction crews to repair both ramps in time for a major fishing tournament next month.