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.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Runoff Hits Area Lakes


Lakes O.H. Ivie and E.V. Spence have been the beneficiaries of recent rains.  Spence took on 5,000 acre feet:


Ivie is up 4,000 acre feet. 


With storms in the area how much runoff might area lakes receive?  I'm cheering for Twin Buttes to continue its multiyear rise.  That would be a blessing. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Water's Up: City Service is Not


For decades San Angelo City officials said they would maintain areas around Twin Buttes Reservoir "when the water came up."  It's up over twenty five feet and there is no evidence of city plans to make improvements.

The city will have saved nearly $1 million for 2016 and 2017 as the annual Bureau of Reclamation payment for dam construction ended in 2015.  The city put none of those savings into the park.

It did contract Twin Buttes security to Texas Parks and Wildlife via the Public Hunting Program.  Citizens have been told "the park is treated bad because it looks bad."  Actually, it is treated bad by irresponsible users dumping and conducting illegal activities.

Twin Buttes has many responsible users who pack out their trash and pick up dangerous items left by others.  I know because I've done it for decades as an avid windsurfer and paddle boarder.  Other responsible user groups recreate at Twin Buttes, bird watchers, hunters, fisherman, off road enthusiasts, boaters, jet skiers, kayakers, disc golfers and more.  .

The City adopted a Twin Buttes Reservoir Master Recreation Plan in 2013 and I don't think it's been dusted off since.  Parks Chief Carl White said the city has been "hands off" at Twin Buttes.  He made the statement years after the city adopted the Master Recreation plan.

I admire TPWD Lt. Jason Huebner's energy and vision for Twin Buttes.  I had it once.  Hopefully, the city will make promises they can keep to him.   When I go out there I see the water's up and the city hasn't done jack to maintain areas around Twin Buttes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vandalized Trucks Dumped at Twin Buttes


San Angelo Live reported:

Two abandoned stolen trucks were recovered near the north side of the Equalization Chanel.  Both trucks’ interiors and exteriors were severely vandalized.
This is the no man's land the City of San Angelo allowed to exist for decades.   Texas Parks and Wildlife Officers have been contracted to reign in bad behavior at Twin Buttes Reservoir. I wish them luck.