Despite recent rains, Texas state parks continue to feel the effects of the ongoing drought. That’s according to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s executive director Carter Smith, who spoke today at the House Natural Resources Committee Meeting at the State Capitol.
“A seventh of the 91 state parks have closed boat ramps and fishing piers," Smith explained. "We no longer have any public boat ramps open in Lake Travis and Lake Buchannan, so that has a very significant recreational impact on the state." The combined storage of those lakes, which serve as Austin's main water supply, is at 41 percent, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Because of the drought, Carter said the Parks Department has shut down the Dundee Fish Hatchery, the largest one in the state, near Wichita Falls. A few more hatcheries around the state could have to close if dry conditions persist.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that more than 90 percent of Texas is experiencing drought conditions.