Lake Corpus Christi tourism outlook favorable despite drought

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 17:43:34-04

Lake Corpus Christi and the nearby state park are both vital to Mathis’ economy, especially in the summer. 

However, this year water is evaporating out of the lake earlier than usual.  Despite that, officials from the park and the town expect a summer as busy as ever.

"It hasn’t kept people away at all," said Ed Corbett, part of the Utilities, Plans and Operations Department at Lake Corpus Christi State Park.  "Lots of boaters, lots of swimmers, a lot of kids out this week with school getting out."

Lake Corpus Christi State Park saw a record number of visitors both Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekends.  That means big business for the nearby town of Mathis.

"Lake Corpus Christi is critical to our economy here," said Doug Dowler, Executive Director of Mathis Economic Development.  It’s obviously our number one tourist attraction here in Mathis."

Officials say the lake loses about three to four inches a day in evaporation.  That’s not uncommon, but it’s happening earlier this year.

"The heat’s come on a little early this year," said Corbett.  "We’re normally used to this happening in July, end of June.  We’re a little concerned about it, but it is what it is."

"It certainly is a drought condition right now, and we pray for more rain to come," added Dowler.

Despite those drought conditions, park officials don’t think water levels will pose a problem.

"The water level stays very accessible to folks," said Corbett.  "They have to walk further out to it, but they’re not terribly far away from the water anywhere in the park."

Water levels aren’t the only environmental concern at the park, fire danger is as well.  In fact, officials recently instituted a burn ban for the park; cooking with gas or charcoal is fine, but no burning wood inside Lake Corpus Christi State Park.