I wanted to post what I know and have learned about the ramps on Whitney. There is still plenty of good access to the lake.
The current lake level is 16 feet 3 inches below the normal pool level of 533 feet. The lake is still dropping, but slowly. We are praying for a hurricane to come up on the Texas coast and hang out for a week or two, maybe that would blow enough rain up here to fill-er-up.
Lofers Bend East: This is a Corps ramp. It ordinarily has 3 lanes. I suggest sticking to the center lane, currently marked with Blue lines. There is no boat dock there now. The Corps has the dock pulled out and it is sitting at the top of the ramp. The best place for picking up or unloading passengers is directly on the ramp due to the rocky shore The ramp is tough when the winds are 10 mph and above and from the NW, North, or NE.
In the water, the ramp is covered with rocks, so the launching and loading with the trailer needs to be done with care. However, it appears that another section of concrete is emerging so maybe it will be good for another 4 or 5 feet drop in the lake level, MAYBE.
This is a photo taken this morning of the Lofers Bend East ramp. You can see the Corps is working on the left side of the ramp.
The daily launch fee is $3.00. There is limited parking here. I am guessing that you can only get a dozen vehicles or so on the paved parking, but I have seen times on the weekends when folks parked on the grass around the parking lot, but that would only accomdate another half dozen or so vehicles and trailers.
Lofers Bend Day Use: I am not sure if this ramp is open or not, there were no signs indicating it was closed. BUT, I have seen the channel going into it from the lake side. I would not recommend taking a boat into it from either direction. The mouth of the channel at the lake’s edge was full of rocks. You might get a boat through it, but it would take some careful work. I don’t recommend any large boats going in and out there for sure. The Corps is doing some repair work on the ramp as they have been doing on all of them as the water recedes. Essentially, they seem to be repairing the ramps as needed and extending the concrete sidewalks used for the controlling of the movable boat docks.
This is a photo of the Day Use ramp taken today:
This is an example of the type of work the Corps is doing around all the ramps, fixing broken spots on the ramp itself and adding or extending the dock side walks. We have seen work like this around most all of the Corps ramps. This is at the Day Use Ramp.
There is ample parking in the Day Use parking lot at the ramp. I just don’t know if you can use the ramp.
The daily launch fee is $3.00
Harbor Master Marina: I visited with one of the owners of Harbor Master Marina this morning. He advised that due to safety concerns, they have closed the ramp to the public as of about a week and a half a go.
When the Marina is open, the launch fee is $3.00 per day.
Walling Bend South on Rocky Creek: This ramp is open and usable.
This information is about 2 weeks old from a TFF post of a fellow who launched there:
Walling bend North is closed but South was open with room to spare last time I was there a couple of weeks back. The South ramp is steep but it is paved.
We fished near there about the middle of November and this is what the ramp looked like from the lake. As you can see, the Corps was doing some repair work on the ramp at that time.
This is a picture taken this morning of the ramp:
The concrete ramp has been repaired (the dark spot at the bottom left is new concrete) and the dock side walk extended down to the water. That is just a small pile of excess sand at the end of the left side. I looked at the ramp in the water and it looked a lot like the ramp at Lofers Bend East. I would suggest that the right side lane is the only usable lane. The concrete extends out, but is covered with sand and rock. I am not sure how far out you could safely put a trailer. But, we did pass a fellow with a bass boat headed down to the ramp so I assume some folks are using it.
There was no ramp closure sign posted there and I would say that you can launch from there, but I would advise using care.
There is no launch fee there, it is free. The park is unattended.
Juniper Cove: Their low water ramp is still open. This is the latest report I have on it which was from the weekend of Nov. 20-21, provided by a guy who fished out of there.
The launch ramp was very long and narrow, being that the lake is so low the sides of the launch ramp are rather steep if something should happen and someone turned their trailer too far to the side. It is also part dirt, part concrete, and there were potholes that certainly shook me up when I was sitting in the boat after driving it up onto the trailer.
I don’t use the ramp there so I can’t give you a first hand account of the ramp. The gate area has a number of signs indicating that this park is private property, and there is no trespassing. So, unless you want to pay the posted $10 per day vehicle access charge….
The posted ramp fee is $10.
Steele Creek, Red Bluff Ramp: This ramp is on the north side of Steele Creek park. We also passed a fellow with a bass boat headed toward this ramp today. The Corps has also done some work at this ramp. It is a two lane ramp and it appeared that both lanes were usable. I was really surprised when I checked it out. The concrete appears to continue on out into the lake and has sand and gravel on top of it. It is not as rocky as the Lofers Bend East ramp. I thought it looked the best of any of the Corps ramps I visited today.
There is no launch fee in this park. The park is also unattended. There is a lot of paved parking at this ramp.
These are the current ramps I think you can get a trailered boat in. Steele Creek is on the upper end of the lake, Juniper Cove is mid-lake, and Walling Bend South and Lofers Bend are on the south end of the lake. So, you should be able to fish any where you want on the lake without having to boat 10 miles. Just take care. With the water 16 feet plus down, there is some structure coming up to the surface where there was none before. We just replaced our primary depth finder on the boat and we got one that has the Navionics mapping in color. On Whitney, this map is a tremendous help, a great safety tool; it was well worth the money. Just looking at the lake, you might think you have a clear run for 5 miles or so and it just isn’t the truth. At any moment you could be polishing the fiberglass on the bottom of your boat with limestone rock.
Let’s go fishing and good luck.