GONZALES, Texas – It’s been a while since the leak gate malfunction on Lake Gonzales, a failure that has drained the reservoir. Now, residents in the region say they’re experiencing the adverse effects of this malfunction.
Mark Dunn is the owner of the “Gone Fishing” RV Park located at Lake Gonzales. He said that since the accident with the spill gate in August. 3, the only thing missing is water, and no water means nobody is renting boats.
“It’s a huge revenue loss because of, you know, there’s no more boating or fishing or renting of boats, and a lot of people would come here for the water,” Dunn stated.
Dunn said that the RV park remains open, and people go camping and grill; however, things don’t seem appealing without the lake.
Former Gonzales County Sheriff and State Game Warden Glenn Sachtleben have dedicated over 30 years to protecting water and law enforcement. They have seen how many activities were brought to the area.
“The whole thing makes me feel sad because this was a prime resource for recreation in the area and not just local; it drew people from hundreds of miles around,” Sachtleben added.
The area’s residents utilized the adjacent Lake Woods, which is roughly four miles away from Gonzales, to illustrate the possible future of Lake Gonzales. In 2016 another spill gate failure resulted in the collapse of the lake. It has since been transformed into an expansive wooded region.
Now Sachtleben declared that he is convinced that his loss at Lake Gonzales will be felt for many years to come.
“I recognize the cost of repurposing the dam or repairing it is significant, but I think the long-term cost to the community exceeds that,” Sachtleben stated.
The Gonzales and other communities in the area stated that their current mission is to ensure that their lakes remain alive. They hope to work with the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority will be a part of the solution.