We have not been to Lake Whitney since last Tuesday, October 1, so we were not sure of the ramp closures and status, in particular, the marinas.
We emailed the Whitney news paper, The Lakelander. and asked for any information they had on the ramp and marinas at Whitney. They had no first hand information, but sent us a link to the Corps of Engineers web site. That link provided the following update:
Release no. 13-060
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today the closure of all Corps-operated campgrounds and day-use parks due to the Federal government shutdown.
“The Fort Worth District regrets the impacts these closures might have on the numerous patrons who recreate at our facilities, and we are working to keep the public fully informed about the availability and status of those facilities,” said Col. Charles Klinge, commander, Fort Worth District.
Today and continuing through the end of the shutdown, the Corps will neither accept reservations nor allow new visitors into their recreation facilities. Campers who are on site prior to the shutdown going into effect will be required to vacate campgrounds no later than 8 p.m. Oct. 2.
Customers may cancel their reservations for a full refund. Those required to vacate campsites early will receive a partial refund for any unused portion of their reservations. As an alternative, they have the option to leave reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted.
Customers may request a partial refund for any unused portion of their reservation customer service at 1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). If customers take no action, their reservations will automatically cancel after their departure date.
We also got on the phone and called around. The marinas on Lake Whitney are open, the Corps of Engineers did not close them.
White Bluff Marina advised that the water is very low in the mouth of their harbor and they are recommending that folks go on down to Juniper Cove and launch if they want to fish the mid-lake area. The normal launch fee at White Bluff Marina is $10 per day. White Bluff Resort does have some overnight accommodations, check the link to their web site for more information.
Juniper Cove or Lake Whitney Marina is open and had a deep water ramp. The launch fee at Juniper Cove is $10. The sign at the entrance also notes there is a $10 per vehicle entrance fee, I am not sure if that is also applicable when you are launching a boat or not. Juniper Cove does have camping, RV and rental cabins. You can check the link to our information on their facility or go to their web site.
Harbor Master Marina is also open for business. I visited with Bob today and he advised that “It’s a great day on the lake today… the lake looks like glass and the weather is great!” Bob said folks have been launching and fishing all week and that he had had a couple of guys down from the Cleburne-Burleson area just the other day. The launch fee at Harbor Master is $3. Bob said you could just leave the money in the box at the ramp, the store is closed now. There are limited camping or overnight facilities at Harbor Master Marina.
We also called Uncle Gus’s Marina, but have not heard back from them. We do know that the lake is currently about 11 feet 8 inches low. We have seen the ramp at Uncle Gus at 13 feet low and it was still navigable, but shallow. I believe that he has the channel marked out to Rocky Creek so you can get out. The launch fee at Uncle Gus’s Marina is $5. There are overnight accommodations at Uncle Gus’s. Team Redneck Guide service reported that they are using Uncle Gus’s ramp and that there is about 3 feet of water there. They have fairly large boats so I would think access is good.
The Lake Whitney State Park is open, but the ramp is closed due to the low water. All the camping facilities are available there however.
We are going to try to make it down there a little later this week… hopefully before that next front comes in. Hopefully, we will find a few fish. I noticed on the Texas Fishing Forum that Team Redneck Guide service was advising that the stripers are now in the shallow water, meaning two foot or so of water… Doesn’t hurt to have one of them hit at top water lure every now and then.
And, both the Dairy Hill and Old School ramps at Lake Aquilla have been closed by the Corps… just FYI in case you missed it.