With almost all of the parks and boat ramps across Central Texas lakes closed due to flooding, some businesses located near those lakes are losing out on many of the customers they'd expect to see at this time of the year.
At Belton Lake, where the water levels are 24 feet over conservation, Dead Fish Grill's general manager Matthew Taylor said he hasn't seen the lake this flooded in the three years he's worked there.
"We live and die by the amount of boats and boating traffic that goes across Lake Belton," he said. "Luckily, with the sunshine on the west deck, we never really experience downtime in the middle of summer. However, we definitely saw less folks that are of the boating persuasion as it stands this weekend," Taylor said.
The boat ramp at Belton Lakeview Park (also known as Frank's Marina) is the only boat ramp open at the lake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.
"All the fishing tournaments, all the folks who are in the boating clubs, all the people that do stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and those kind of things are definitely missing from our population this summer," Taylor said.
Belton Lake isn't the only lake with this problem.
The parks and boat ramps at Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Lake Waco are all closed due to flooding, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' website said.
The Slippery Minnow restaurant, located on the Lake Waco marina, isn't as lucky as the Dead Fish Grill, which is high above Belton Lake. Instead, it's temporarily closed its doors due to flooding.
Taylor said he hopes all this flooding won't happen again next year.
"You know, when you look at a restaurant like [the Dead Fish Grill], you've got all kinds of different things to manage: the food, the people, the experience," he said. "You never consider Mother Nature to be one of the things you have to manage."
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson said people might have to wait until the end of July for some of those parks and ramps to reopen.
Below is a list from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website of the park and boat ramp closures (as of June 21) across some of the Central Texas lakes.
- Arrowhead Point Park: Closed.
- Sparta Valley Park: Closed indefinitely
- Belton Lakeview Park (Frank’s): Ramp open.
- Cedar Ridge Park: Both ramps closed, sites 17-40, shelters S01-S08 closed through Aug. 31.
- Leona Park: Closed.
- Temple Lake Park: Closed; pavilion closed through Aug. 31.
- Westcliff Park: Ramp and camping closed through Aug. 31.
- White Flint Park: Ramp and camping closed through Aug. 31.
- Winkler Park: Closed through Aug. 31.
- Roger's Park: Closed.
- Iron Bridge Park: Closed.
- McGregor Park: Closed.
- Owl Creek Park: Closed.
- Horseshoe Bend: Closed.
- Live Oak Park: Boat ramp closed.
Stillhouse Hollow Lake:
- Dana Peak Park: Ramp closed; pavilion and camping sites closed through July 31.
- Union Grove Park: Ramp closed; camping sites closed through July 31.
- Cedar Gap Park: Closed.
- Stillhouse Park: Ramp closed; Island View’ Teardrop Pavilions & day use side of park closed through July 31.
- River’s Bend Park: Closed.
- Airport Beach Park: Closed.
- Airport Park: Closed.
- Bosque Park: Closed.
- Dam Hike & Bike Access Points: Closed.
- Flat Rock: Closed.
- Reynolds Creek Park: Closed.
- Lacy Point: Closed.
- Speegleville Park: Campground is open; ramp is closed.
- Twin Bridges Park: Closed.
- Midway Park: Closed.
- Koehne Park: Closed.
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