Low Lake Safety - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Low Lake Safety

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Denver Jones, a former resident of Wichita Falls, spent Thursday afternoon overlooking Lake Arrowhead.

Jones said he took a trip to the lake to get one glimpse at the place he spent a lot of time on the water before moving away.

“I use to be here a lot to Jet Ski, boat, fish off that pier. It's heartbreaking to see this,” said Jones.

The lake once full of water is now thirsty rain. Jones said it is nothing like it used to be.

““Absolutely not, four years or five years ago when it was normal lake levels you would see a stray branch sticking out like most lakes in Texas, but right now very precarious and  I won't even take a boat out there," said Jones.

“One of the main things to look out when you're boating are those stumps are trees that are now sticking up out of the water,” said Captain Pat Canan, Warden for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Wichita Falls.

He said lower water has increased dangers for recreational use.

"If they're poling a skier or operating a personal water craft it get even more dangerous, because if they're skiing in shallow water and they fall they can hurt themselves,” said Captain Canan.

“You can't tell what's beneath the water. The clarity is pretty bad and we obviously know the lake levels are pretty low. So I think it would be very dangerous to have any water craft out here,” said Jones.

Captain Canan said swimming in the lakes is also a concern. The main area at the park where people usually swim is now shallow or dried up, forcing people to swim in other parts of the lake.

“We don't recommend once the water warms up a little bit more for people to swim in areas where there is no wave action,” said Captain Canan.

He said if people do decide to get in the water to make sure they put safety first.

“If you’re on the water you probably ought to be wearing a life jacket; even if it’s not required by law,” said Captain Canan.  

Captain Canan said in 2013 alone 71 percent of boating accidents resulted in drowning and 85 percent of those people were not wearing life jackets.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently released a video press release about water safety, here’s the link. Take a look!

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6