ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Sam Rayburn Reservoir remains at close to its highest level.
The Army Corps of Engineers is getting good practice in this spring on calculating how much water to release from the flood control reservoir.
The tricky part is not to send out too much toward already high lakes and rivers to the south, but enough to maintain a safe level on Rayburn. East Texas News visited the Sam Rayburn Dam to find out the impact the high level had had on the lake and lake users.
Corps engineers call it simple math when calculating how much water to release from Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Right now more than 8,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released downstream.
"The spillway elevation at Sam Rayburn is at 176, so currently at 173.83, we have a lot more capacity." Bart Dearborn said. "As large as this reservoir is we're not at risk of going over the spillway."
Even at 3 feet away from full capacity Rayburn was still able to hold water to wait for flooding events below the dam to end.
The goal is return the lake to the 164 feet normal elevation. That should take about two more months.
"The goal there is to restore the flood storage capacity that Sam Rayburn has to protect the facilities, the homes, and the people that live downstream on the Angelina, Neches Rivers," Dearborn said.
Some of those same East Texans utilize the lake for recreation.
Anyone making plans to have fun at Sam Rayburn Reservoir should not be scared off by the higher level. On Wednesday, many anglers and families were having a great day even though all swim areas and the Hanks Creek Day Use Area until August 2 or until further notice depending on the lake level.
Some campsites and three boat ramps around the lake are closed due to high water.
Campers at Ebenezer Park, a popular place with horseback riders, had no trouble finding a site. It's still smart to call ahead to make a reservation or check on reservations made previously.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir is high, but it's still providing lots of protection and recreation for visitors.
The Corps, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest service have websites where daily lake levels and campsite availability are found. For park closures, click this link. If you're looking for information the public access facilities at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, visit this site. For information on Army Corps of Engineers parks, click this link. You can also find water safety tips at this link.