NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — River conditions for recreational use in the New Braunfels-area might be the best it has been in years for this Fourth of July weekend.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced the water release from Canyon Lake into the Guadalupe River from 3500 cfs to 400 cfs on Thursday morning and it will remain at that level through the weekend. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) only control releases from the reservoir when it is 909 msl or below, for water supply purposes.
Tubing hasn’t been allowed on the Guadalupe River for the past several weeks since the river flow has been above 1000 cfs.
At River Sports Tubes, the phone calls are pouring in. They will be opening Thursday for tubers. And that’s just in time
“July 4th weekend is our busiest weekend of the year,” said Theresa Akard.
Tuesday, they were somewhat scrambling, to be prepared for the rush.
“It’s so much better than being closed,” said Akard.
The gates have been open on Canyon Lake since the heavy rains Memorial Day weekend. The conditions on the Guadalupe River have been to dangerous to let people float on tubes.
“We thrive off of tubing. That’s what we need back, is the tubing,” said Jimmy Weber with Shanty Tubes.
Weber says they are desperate to get back on the river.
“It’s got to be open, because this going to make or break our season,” said Weber.
Both businesses have lost employees over the past month in addition to customers.
“You can’t control Mother Nature and we haven’t had water in so long, that, we couldn’t really say we don’t want it, but it’s kind of feast or famine,” said Akard.
With the drought conditions over the past several years, the Guadalupe River was running around 67 cfs as opposed to the excellent tubing flow of 400 cfs. The recent rains also forced the closure of the Comal River numerous times in the past month.
If you’re going to spend time on the rivers this weekend you are urged to keep safety in mind.
“To add to some of the safety issues, the lakes and rivers change when they get a lot of rain after several years of drought conditions. We just want people who are recreating to be aware and stay safe,” said Bill West Jr., GBRA general manager.