Lake Kickapoo Fishing Business is Hurting

The drought is drying up some Texoma businesses.  A Lake Kickapoo fishing camp is struggling to stay afloat.  Jim Hamill says out of the twelve years he's been in business, this is the most challenging year financially.

"It's been extremely difficult. It's been a struggle this year.  The overhead at a place like this is great just for utilities and buying bait and what have you," says Hamill.  "It's been the worst year we've had financially of course."

This years weather is making things tough.

"It's been so dry.  That and a lot of folks are under the misconception that because the lake is low the fishing is bad so they just don't come," Hamill says.

Besides dry conditions, he thinks there are other reasons why people aren't stopping by to fish anymore.

"The economy is such that people just don't have the disposable income that they have had in previous years," he says.

Hamill is used to 40 to 50 people fishing at his camp each weekend, but things are much quieter this year.  Fishermen numbers are down significantly.

Hamill says,"Probably at 30% of last year."  And that is hurting sales at his camps bait shop.

"We haven't sold the bait that we have in previous years," Hamill explains.  "I'm selling about 1/3 of the amount of bait that I sold in previous years.  Way down."

His boat ramp has been closed for four months, all of his cabins are vacant and the empty chairs at the barge make the lake much quieter than normal.  But, Hamill is optimistic.  Spring is coming and he says that should bring more fishermen to the lake.

"When people ask me how the fishing is I tell them the fishing is great.  The catching may be a little rough, but the fishing is always great.  I'm right where I need to be," says Hamill.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.