Eccleston Addresses Issues at Canyon Lake Boat Ramps
Tempers rose over the weekend as overcrowding and lack of social-distancing at boat ramps operated by Comal County — especially at boat ramps #1 and #5 — resulted in angry phone calls to law enforcement and disparaging posts on social media sites.
To address these concerns, County Commissioner Donna Eccleston, whose Pct. 1 includes Canyon Lake, met on Monday with officials from the Sheriff’s Office, Constable’s Office, Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County (WORD), the county engineer’s office and general counsel.
Tuesday, she announced the county will improve existing signage and use striping and other measures to help clear up the chaos by giving citizens and law enforcement “tools to help everyone enjoy the lake safely.”
Eccleston said the problems at Canyon Lake’s boat ramps are compounded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ closure of its parks and boat ramps during the COVID-19 pandemic (Editor’s Note: On May 6 USACE is expected to announce plans to gradually reopen Canyon Lake).
“We have been experiencing a very large influx of visitors and residents using the county boat ramps,” she said. “There is limited capacity to launch boats on Canyon Lake since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have all their parks and boat ramps closed. The problem is being compounded by the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Most people are responsible and mindful of others. There are others who do not use proper conduct and put others’ safety at risk. The governor’s order is in place as is the county order on boat ramps. Law enforcement are the only ones who can enforce orders and laws.”
In a phone interview, she urged residents and visitors to use common sense and avoid activities like swimming around boat ramps, congregating after law enforcement signs off in the evening, or inadvertently blocking roadways with cars and trucks so that emergency vehicles can’t get through.
“Just smarten up,” she said.
Laws about using boat ramps for launch and recovery only have been in place since 1994.