Debate over cont­roversial no-wake zone at Lake Dunlap tabled

GBRA puts a hold on plans to extend or cancel the zone

LAKE DUNLAP, Texas - An angry crowd showed up to talk about potential changes to a section of Lake Dunlap designated as a no-wake zone, which means no water skiing.

But some say the slow zone is actually making the lake more dangerous.

The water on one section of Lake Dunlap in New Braunfels is placid now, but the emotions of the people who own property here are anything but. They overflowed the boardroom at the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority.

Most asked that the no-wake zone currently in place in that one far south section of the river be removed and speed boats be allowed.

George Scofield is a property owner in that area. "There's not been anything that's happened to this lake that would justify a no-wake zone along the (FM) 725 corridor," Scofield said.

Rick Flume and his family also owns property there. "It's been safer than it's ever been in decades," Flume said.

Last year, the lake level was lowered for repairs to the dam and to cut off some of the stumps that remained from the time the lake was built. The GBRA said that made the lake more dangerous and imposed a slow speed no-wake zone.

Dan LaRoe’s family has owned property along the river for 60 years and spoke in favor of keeping the no-wake zone. "If the channel is opened up, people will undoubtedly start running through the stumps once again," LaRoe said.

But Texas Sen. Jeff Wentworth put the brakes on the debate over wakes. "I've been authorized on behalf of the governor's office to say that the governor's office would also like this board to delay an action," Wentworth told the board.

And after an executive session, the board tabled the discussion on the no-wake zone.

GBRA General Manager Bill West said he was not surprised no action was taken at this meeting. He said he will be asking for more input from the community over the next month on an issue that has stumped many in this lakeside community: wake or no wake.

"We're just trying to seek a balance between all interested parties while at the same time, preserving safety and use of the lake," West said.

Many lake users say it would be safer to allow wakes and skiing in the entire lake because now that activity is crowded into the remaining parts of a small lake.

The GBRA may reconsider extending or eliminating the no wake zone at its meeting next month.

For a list of recent stories Brian Mylar has done, click here.


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