Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Ushers in Changes


This past Friday and Saturday evening I rode God's breathe on the water.  I windsurfed the North Pool at Twin Buttes.  Friday I rode my Mistral Equipe courseboard powered by a 6.6 sq. meter sail.  Saturday I started on that but switched to a F2 higher volume shortboard with stronger gusts.  I zipped across the water on that rig. The water was warm enough to be comfortable waiting for gust to waterstart.

On Labor Day I paddle boarded from the temporary boat ramp at the North Pool to the Twin Buttes dam.  The water level was down about four feet from its peak earlier this year.  That drop is a foot shy of our annual evaporation toll.  Shorter days and cooler nights help keep water in the lake.

Before that I windsurfed the outer bands from Hurricane Harvey.   I was on a light air course board with a 6.6 sail.  The gusts would've been fun on a shortboard but the lulls taxing on my hands.  This aging thing is tough.

With the city using Lake Ivie and Hickory Aquifer for our daily water needs pressure is light on moving water out of Twin Buttes Reservoir.  The city released Twin Buttes water in the past to keep Lake Nasworthy at a safe level for boat races.  It also releases water to meet the needs of downstream water rights holders.

San Angelo's two-day Lucas Oil Fall Shootout event, originally scheduled for September 30 - October 1, was cancelled in mid July.  Lucas Oil decided to cut three events to ensure the viability of the race series.

The South Concho River, Spring Creek and Dove Creek keep flowing into Twin Buttes.  Our rains are a blessing in light of our longstanding blistering heat.  I pray for all God can grant us.  The water will be cooler when I get back out.  It should be invigorating.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Live Invites Public to Shoot Fireworks in County


Lt. Jason Huebner may have his hands full this July 4th holiday policing fireworks use at Twin Buttes Reservoir.  San Angelo Live steered citizens outside San Angelo city limits to shoot off fireworks.

The City's July 4th holiday press release is silent on the subject of fireworks.  Two years ago the city spoke clearly on this issue.   Last year Concho Valley Homepage did a story on legal fireworks use.

Those wanting to shoot off fireworks will go somewhere. It remains to be seen how the city's relative silence and Live's implying fireworks are OK at Twin Buttes will pan out.  Historically, it's been the annual trashing of Twin Buttes.

Hubener just led a successful trash pickup for both pools at Twin Buttes.  Let's hope we don't need Round 2 after celebrating our nation's birth.

Update 7-12-17:  Fox reported less trash at Twin Buttes than in prior years but their story reveals a different concern, people placing human waste in park trash receptacles.  Twin Buttes master plan meetings in 2012 indicated a need for public restrooms and the city received a TPWD grant for new restrooms and a boat ramp.  It only installed the boat ramp.  A public park should provide basics for a family to spend the day, much less camp (like the city recently invited the public to do so via a Standard Times insert.) 

Monday, June 26, 2017

July 4th Looms: Public Invited to Camp


The Standard Times recently published their annual San Angelo Living 2017 newspaper insert.  It had this to say about Twin Buttes Reservoir:

The City Park at Twin Buttes is located five miles west of San Angelo off of U.S. Highway 67.  Both primitive and RV camping sites with electrical hook-ups, water and chemical toilets, and boat launches.  Primarily large mouth and white bass are found in the lake.  
The City needs to offer a correction:  Only primitive camping is available at Twin Buttes, as there are no restrooms or electrical hookups.  They've been gone for decades.

How many people received the insert?  One website said the Sunday paper goes to 31,222 readers.  How many readers have RVs?

Texas Parks and Wildlife has a Twin Buttes Reservoir page.  It steers the public to camp at San Angelo State Park at Lake O. C. Fisher.

It will be interesting to see how citizens act at Twin Buttes over the July 4th holiday.  The City has been all over the place on fireworks at Twin Buttes.  It used to be the annual trashing of Twin Buttes, but recent efforts reduced or eliminated fireworks use.  That's the plan for 2017, low or no fireworks.

I hope to be on the water, windsurfing or standup paddling.  Stay safe and have fun this July 4th.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Twin Buttes Cleaned Up


I went to the South Pool for the first time in months to check out the Equalization channel and the condition of the dirt road, which can be in bad shape after a few rains.  On the way in I pulled over to let a truck pass and it was Lt. Jason Huebner with Texas Parks and Wildlife.  He said they just bladed the South Pool road and it's in good shape. 

Jason shared they just had a volunteer cleanup day for both the South and North Pools.   The picture below is from the dumpster at the South Pool:


It was comprised of volunteers from Twin Buttes user groups and Goodfellow Air Force Base.  The crew did a great job of gathering dumped trash.  Here's what they gathered at the North Pool:



The next big event is July 4th weekend.  Jason said fireworks won't be allowed this year at Twin Buttes.  We talked about the recent moves by the city to eliminate or reduce fireworks use and the corresponding trash.  Two years ago a SAPD officer parked at the Highway 67 entrance to Twin Buttes North Pool.  Whatever they paid him it was worth it.  Jason said TPWD planned to bring in extra officers for July 4th.

Lt. Huebner has a vision, enthusiasm and energy.  I see improvements and congratulate him and his team.  I did share several things about the South Pool.  Last summer it was full of pond weed.  I'd never seen that much in my years windsurfing there.  Also, to the left of the pipe rail that goes into the water there are three huge submerged rocks that cannot be seen.  The boulders are a safety hazard to boaters and swimmers.  The city put those in years ago when the water went down and pumps were a constant feature.  What made sense to the city then is now a safety hazard to South Pool users.

After my visit with Jason I loaded up my windsurfing gear and went to the North Pool.  I rigged a 6.6 sail and my Mistral Equipe course board.  I needed its daggerboard  to get upwind through a launch narrowed by brush.  Once out on the water the volume helped in the lulls and it was easier to get and stay upwind.  If the launch had been simpler I could have used my F2 130 liter shortboard.  Anyway, it was great to be out on the water powered by God's breath.  There's nothing like it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

San Angelo's Current Surface Water Supplies


The Water Advisory Board did not get an update on San Angelo's above ground water supplies in their last meeting.  The Board did not seem concerned about not getting an update from Water Chief Bill Riley.  They did take umbrage with not being notified of the $43 million Ford Ranch deal and having to learn about it in the newspaper.

This harkens back to the days of Water Czar Will Wilde when the Water Board was a rubber stamp.  The Water Board should know they are not alone.  City staff bypassed the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee on ordinance revisions for mandatory micro-chipping and which city staff can issue Animal Control citations.

San Angelo's water bills continue to become more expensive but it's not due to drought level markups.  I am grateful for the water sent our way and pray for more. 

Note:  This data is from 6-3-17, the day before thunderstorms blew through San Angelo.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Nasworthy Races Coming Soon


Lucas Oil's first boat race of the year at Lake Nasworthy is three weeks away.  I imagine the city will let water out of Twin Buttes Reservoir to raise Nasworthy's water levels for the race.  This is the first year Lucas Oil is exclusively promoting the event.  It's been a big regional draw the last few years. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable event.

Rain in Watershed

Twin Buttes Reservoir declined slightly the last week.  There is potential for runoff today with area thunderstorms.  Pray for rain for crops, yards and area lakes.