Labor Day Boaters Advised to Watch for Stumps, Fish Attractors Right Below the Surface of Canyon Lake

Dried Up Lake
Canyon Lake is 16 feet shallower than it should be. Most of these dead trees are normally submerged. Image courtesy of Michael Harwell.

Prolonged drought and blistering heat are drying up Canyon Lake, which Monday was 68.5% full at 892.6 feet.

These conditions have allowed the lake to break its all-time lowest lake pool elevation of 892.7 feet, a record set on Sept. 9, 2009.

The lake is now 16 feet below the full pool level of 909 feet.

Clay Church, a spokesperson for U.S Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth Division, which owns and operates Canyon Lake, in an interview with Texas Public Radio advised anyone who plans to be out on the water to look for “things right below the surface or at the surface that are there now that were under 16 feet of water before.”

On the Canyon Lake Boating Facebook page, one experienced boater offered this advice: “Go slow, wear good polarized sunglasses and pay attention to the water color changes, it’s pretty obvious where the water has a little more brown tinge to it. Avoid that!

“…If you don’t have a good GPS and chart, really shouldn’t be running at night, too.”

“If you have a depth finder, use it.”

Bring lots of food and drink, there are no restaurants on the water.

Here’s a link to a depth/topographic map of Canyon Lake.

Other members of the Canyon Lake Boating Facebook page warn of:

  • Dangerous shallow water within 50 yards of an orange marker near Canyon Dam where a fish attractor sits on top of an underwater hill. According to one contributor, the takeaway is to stay at least 300-400 yards south of North Park.
  • Stumps around Boat Ramp #7.
  • Hydrilla, especially near Boat Ramp #21.
  • Trees following the contours of the old riverbed. When leaving the cove from Boat Ramp #5 and Boat Ramp #6 area, stay in the middle of the channel until clearing the point on the Comal Park side. Use sidescan sonar. There is another shallow hump exposed by Canyon Park.
  • Stay away from the shoreline.

Although more than a few Canyon Lake boaters have joked about sawing off the tops of trees, it’s against the law.

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