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Local News

March 24, 2013

Recreation at Duncan lakes impacted by drought

DUNCAN — Recreational use of the Duncan lakes is greatly diminishing as a result of drought conditions.

“I think the drought has had a significant impact on recreation at the lakes,” Scott Vaughn, Public Works director, said. And if significant rainfall doesn’t soon occur, the recreational activity will be further affected.

As things begin to warm up in the area, traffic at the lakes usually picks up. Vaughn isn’t sure there will be much more traffic, except on holiday weekends, including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

The impact of the drought has been reoccurring for about two years. Vaughn said rain is the only way to alleviate the drought impact at the four Duncan lakes.

Last year, no swimming was allowed at Clear Creek Lake because of blue-green algae, which was a direct result of the drought.

This year, boating may one of several recreational activities to be impacted by the drought, especially at Clear Creek Lake. Vaughn said that lake has been impacted by the drought more than the other lakes.

“It could be problematic for boating at the lake,” Vaughn said. It may still be possible for people to use boats at Duncan, Fuqua and Humphreys lakes, but Clear Creek Lake is the most popular lake for water skiing. Clear Creek Lake is the biggest concern when it comes to lake recreation, since it is down, Vaughn said.

Despite the drought impact on the lakes, Spring Break turned out to have an influx in campers. Vaughn said there are certain times when an increase in lake activity will increase. Spring Break is one instance, and spring and summer holidays marks others.

Vaughn said the lakes will probably be used less this year because of the drought. He hopes Duncan receives some precipitation to work toward filling the lakes.

It takes three days of rain to begin refilling lakes. The first day wets the ground. The second day fills creeks and ponds. The third day begins refilling the lakes.

“We need to just keep praying for rain,” Vaughn said.

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