Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

The weekend before the busiest weekend of the season, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it will temporarily close its recreation areas “due to safety and environmental impact concerns.”

The announcement from Corps Canyon Lake Manager Javier Pérez Ortiz came just after 5 p.m. on Friday. The release did not indicate when the closure would take effect. The closure was likely due to control the influx of water recreation enthusiasts to Canyon Lake due to drought conditions at similar regional locales.

“In recent weeks, large crowds have been gathering in and around Overlook Park and the Guadalupe Trail. The size of the crowds has caused concern for public safety and negative impacts to the environment,” said Ortiz, who with Clayton Church, the Corps’ Fort Worth public information officer, was not immediately available for comment Friday evening.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are investigating the deaths of two San Antonio residents killed by a boat propeller on June 10 and back-to-back drownings over the June 4-6 weekend.

There has been increased traffic, especially at Overlook Park, which now has traffic barricades against overcrowding and has seen excess trash and human waste along the shoreline.

“The large crowds have impacted the land and natural resources on public and private property,” Ortiz said. “Additional closures may be necessary to ensure the safety and health of the recreating public and to protect the natural resources.”

Canyon Lake staff members ask all visitors to practice leave-no-trace, use designated trash receptacles and always wear a life jacket while boating or anytime you are in or near the water.

The Corps’ nine boat ramps leased to Comal County are not affected by the closure, nor are Comal Park and Canyon Park, both leased to the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County (WORD).

The release indicated the Corps’ Guadalupe Trail and Overlook Park parking lots will be closed Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays, though the parking lot adjacent to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fishing pier will remain open.

Those with camping reservations at Potters Creek, Crane’s Mill and North parks are asked to call 877-444-6777 for more information.

Additional information is available by calling the Corps’ Canyon Lake Office at 830-964-3341, or online to the Fort Worth District website, www.swf.usace.army.mil and social media at: https://about.me/usacefortworth.

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(1) comment

Kevin Carroll

During the warm season I like to walk the dam early in the morning on weekends. Today I couldn’t even find a place to park due the Corp or WORD? Limiting parking spaces. I do agree that the flocks of slobs who come to our beautiful community should be limited. Many seem to leave all their trash on the ground, spray paint rocks, relive themselves in public, etc. Last year they started accessing the river via the nature trail on the river side of the dam. People tore up a lot of the native vegetation and littered the place with trash. Sad that some can be so unthoughtful. Glad they closed the parks, it’s inconvenient but it’s best during the tourist season.

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