Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rains to Benefit Area Lakes?

Rains could benefit San Angelo's water supply.  Cooler temperatures and shorter days also decrease evaporation from area lakes.  It's a double blessing.

Friday, September 2, 2016

City Remains Hands Off on Twin Buttes

The City of San Angelo failed to inform citizens of their responsibility to purchase permits from Texas Parks and Wildlife to access Twin Buttes Reservoir property.  The program began September 1, just before the Labor Day Weekend.

Local outdoor sports columnist Bill Cullins wrote in the Standard Times:

It's currently unclear what the city's role (if any) will be as the new TPWD management plan goes in effect. Although I emailed the city manager and the Parks and Recreation director several questions related to the new plan and the city's role during implementation, neither of those officials chose to respond.

During presentations in 2015 and 2016 leading up to the agreement with TPWD, the city's Parks and Recreation director noted that "I don't think we're doing a very good job of managing those properties" and described the area (which was still under city management) as being "like a No Man's Land or the Wild West."
Parks Chief Carl White referred to the city's dealings with Twin Buttes as "a little hands off."   He used those words with City Council last year.  The city remains hands off by not informing citizens of changes and actions they need to take to comply.  Putting a link to the TPWD's new hunting map does not help non-hunters understand the changes and their need to buy an annual permit to be on Twin Buttes lands.

The 2015 San Angelo Living insert in the Standard Times marketed Twin Buttes as having chemical toilets (removed over a decade ago) and camper hookups (no longer working and inside pipe rail).  Management of this park is the city's responsibility.  That includes accurately representing what's there. 

Will TPWD's Hunting Program reverse the city's near abandonment of responsibility for managing Twin Buttes?   I don't see TPWD officers hauling plastic bags full of used diapers, needles or oil filters.  I don't see them cleaning up dumped brush or trash left after a holiday weekend.

I'd like to know how officers will steer park users on toileting. The city received a $50,000 TPWD grant years ago to put in a new boat ramp and restrooms.  The boat ramp appeared but not the restrooms.

The city's silence on Twin Buttes covers multiple fronts.  There's been no discussion of plans for Twin Buttes in the city's 2016-2017 Strategic Planning/Budget sessions.

The city has long ignored their responsibilities to manage and maintain the park at Twin Buttes.  I'm grateful for an enforcement presence at Twin Buttes, but that can only do much to improve the park experience for local recreational users.  I look forward to seeing the permit program's impact and hearing the city's plans to deal with non-enforcement concerns, like sanitation and regular cleanup.

Update 9-18-16:  Still no word from the city on the change but the Standard Times ran a story about it on Labor Day/

Thursday, September 1, 2016

TPWD Public Hunting at Twin Buttes

Twin Buttes Reservoir is divided into seven zones for public hunting purposes.  The above map has been available on the City of San Angelo's website for quite some time.  The city recently added a new map, pictured below.

Hunting is not allowed in the park area on the north shore of the North Pool or in Zone 7.  Dove hunters may be out in force Labor Day weekend.  I expect many fishermen and recreational users to celebrate the holiday weekend at Twin Buttes.  Everybody enjoy, but be safe!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Twin Buttes Public Hunting Program Incorporates Nasworthy Areas

The map above shows the area the city leased to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Public Hunting Program, which starts September 1, 2016.  Closer examination shows several areas citizens use on the Lake Nasworthy side of the dam.

Being a water user I am not familiar with the dry side of the dam, areas commonly used by bikers and runners.  There is no information on the city's website yet, but the map and MOU are in the City Council background packet from 4-19-16.

Those interested in this information can click this link.  Look for the "Download Packet" in the upper left hand portion of the screen.  Clink on Download Packet to get the material, which starts on page 115.

Look for Bill Cullins' column on this development in this Saturday's Standard Times.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Entry Permit Requirement Starts September 1st

The City of San Angelo is yet to inform the public of their need to purchase a permit to use Twin Buttes Reservoir for any purpose starting September 1st.  The notice is on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and nowhere else.  The only reason I knew was local outdoor sports columnist Bill Cullins gave me a head's up.  It is the subject of his upcoming column in the Standard Times.

Having already received one ticket from for paddle boarding without a personal flotation device (while standing on a 220 liter personal flotation device), I chose to buy my $12 limited use pass before our upcoming Labor Day weekend.  I purchased the $12 pass online for $17.

The City's Lake Parks and Lake Operations web pages only reference hunting at Twin Buttes.  Here's the language:

Hunters should follow state hunting regulations as prescribed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The TPWD website's hunting page can be found at this link.
There is no information on the requirement that recreational users or people wanting to see the water level after a rain buy an annual permit starting Thursday, September 1st.

The City created this program alongside the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and TPWD.  Labor Day weekend begins September 2nd, the day after the new program goes into effect.  The City has a press release on offices being closed on Labor Day but no information on the new permit required four days before the official holiday.

Citizens can't buy what they don't know.  I was surprised to learn the $12 permit cost $17.  It'll be worth it if TPWD officers can reduce or eliminate the bad behavior that occurs at both pools. 

Update 9-1-16:  San Angelo Live ran a piece on the new Public Hunting Program.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Evaporation Toll

It's been toasty lately with a string of days over 100 degrees.  Weather forecasters call for the oppressive heat to break this weekend and for rain chances to increase. 

I'm praying for God to bless us with healing rains and am grateful that the South Pool continues sending water to the North via the Equalization Channel. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

North Pool Drops

Twin Buttes North Pool is down a half foot this past week.  The South Pool remains high enough for water to flow through the Equalization Channel, a rarity this late in July.  The picture below was taken July 5th.  Current flow is less than pictured below but still remarkably healthy.

For the first time in weeks our area has a reasonable chance of rain.  I pray that God blesses us with healing rains.