FRITCH, Texas (KFDA) - 85 days is how long Ryan Kennedy has been missing at Lake Meredith.
As the search continues for him, attendance at the lake is increasing due to the spring weather. Now the National Park Service is having to balance dealing with boaters and surface searches.
“A lot more fish are being caught so a lot more people are going out fishing,” said Sharlee Wisong, owner of Sharken Honey Hole.
The National Park Service and local bait shops says attendance at Lake Meredith is up more than normal for this time of year.
“We have seen many people this year already, and again, the fishing season truly hasn’t even started,” said Dave Wright, owner of Wright-on Bait and Tackle, WaterCraft Rental.
While not a huge impact, there is a chance that an increase of boaters could delay surface searches for the missing hunter.
“It does not impact our search. The only thing is it may delay what time of day we are able to get out because we are handling other things,” said Eric Smith, superintendent at Lake Meredith.
In this time, the community of Fritch has come together in hopes of finding him.
“Since December, there has been many a people that have gone out and searched for Mr. Kennedy. They have helped the park rangers and other entities that have come in to search so long and hard for this tragedy,” said Wright.
Not only giving up time to conduct searches themselves, the community has even gone as far to extend a hand to the family.
“The community has gone so far as, Mr. Kennedy’s father who lives out of town, he’s come up here extensively during this time and one of the community member gave him his house to stay in so he didn’t have to bunk up in a hotel,” said Wright.
Wright, who has witnessed the community come together at a time like this, says these actions don’t surprise him.
“This is no surprise of all the help and all of the concern that has come from this community. Fritch, America is one of a kind,” said Wright.
The National Park Service plans to continue surface searches until Kennedy is found.