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Drought conditions challenge what we do out on the water

Posted at 10:23 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 15:18:44-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend region makes money from its water sports, like windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding, but as the drought continues these activities may become more restricted and people say they don’t want that to happen.

“I’ll take the heat, if we can just get a little bit of rain,” said one Calallen resident.

Ashely Youngblood lives in Calallen but she plans trips to Corpus Christi and surrounding areas to cool off during the summer.

“There just nowhere to get water or get to the water,” she said.

Youngblood is talking about the conditions at Lake Corpus Christi where she spends every Fourth of July. Except this year.

Seeing the state of the lake concerns Fil Spencer who owns Fishman’s Guide Service. Spencer said he hasn't seen conditions like this since the early 2000's.

“Lake Corpus Christi had to shut down all the boat ramps, you couldn’t even jet ski or boat out there and that’s going to end up happening to us if we don’t get some long-term rain and take care of us,” he said.

Having over 30 years of experience with water sports, Spencer said he’s seen it all. He recognizes the issue at hand when he takes customers out to our waters.

“If this continues, we will see an impact on the shrimping and the fishing and the tourism,” said Spencer.

Although people are still booking kayaking trips with Fishman’s Guide Service. There are other ways the drought is impacting his business.

“Fishing is a little bit tougher when the salinity levels are high the way they are,” explained Spencer.

In turn customers are catching less fish and with no rain the water levels are forming low tides, making it impossible to go kayaking.

“Now the grass is lying on its side, so now you have to paddle through that grass and its basically like trying to paddle over carpet,” Spencer said.

To help keep his business alive, Spencer has begun taking customers kayaking to different areas of the Coastal Bend. Other kayaking business we spoke to echo Spencer’s situation. They tell us that as long as there’s water they'll be on it.