AUSTIN, Texas - The water on Lake Bastrop, and the skies above it, were calm Wednesday. Floodgate operations there ended Tuesday evening and as a result, several people came out to enjoy the popular park.
"It’s perfect right now it looks like to me," said Richard Corley, who stopped by the park with his family.
Corley and his family's property near Luling is still drying out from all the recent heavy rainstorms.
"We’ve seen how quick you can go from, too much water, to not enough," said Corley.
Lake Bastrop is managed by LCRA and the water feeds a power plant. There are two floodgates and when a series of rain events began, the agency stated conducting partial openings in early May. The water that flows out goes down Piney Creek. Just upstream from Fisherman's Park in 0 is where the water released from Lake Bastrop flows into the Colorado River.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the river was still high but apparently peaked near Full Stage in the early morning according to LCRA data. At 5 p.m. Wednesday the last bit of lake water seems to be moving past Smithville, with water dropping, but still high, in La Grange and Wharton.
Storms started developing in the afternoon and that had those at the park watching the skies. Getting rained on is just part of all their camping trips according to Jamey and Shanna Wigley, who drove down from Goldthwaite.
"We are just waiting for the next couple hours I’m sure it’s gonna be a good one," said Jamey Wigley.
When asked if they were nervous, Shannon said, "Nah, couldn’t be any worse than it is at home."
The release of water helps LCRA keep the lake at about 450 feet above sea level. Sisters Autumn and Brooke Wilson came to the lake because of what was happening on the river.
"I love the river but it’s super high it’s about two to three feet high, we didn’t want to be dangerous, I’m too nervous about being swept away or something," said Autumn.
When her sister Brooke noted the lake was at a perfect height, Autumn said, "It actually looks calmer than usual, honestly."
To help people prepare for water releases along the Highland Lakes chain, LCRA has a floodgate notification system. It's a free service and can be customized for phone calls, emails, or texts.
On Wednesday Bobby Mendiola was on his own safety mission. He came to the park to release a turtle he found along the roadway. But with more rain in the forecast staying high and dry - even for a turtle - may be a challenge.
"It will happen, like that, just like you’re always talking around, talking about turn around don’t drown, I’m a firm believer in that, we have a lot of low water crossings here in Bastrop County," said Mendiola.