Many boat ramps at Lake Amistad were closed as a result of the historic low lake levels this year. Now that the lake levels are coming up again, the National Park Service is opening boat ramps as lake levels allow and it is safe to launch a boat from the ramp. The Southwinds Marina boat ramp is the first boat ramp that we have been able to open as a result of the rising lake level. We will post the status of the boat ramps on our park web site so you can find out which boat ramps are reopened and available for use.
The lake reached its' lowest point on May 23, 2013 at a level of 1055.88 feet above sea level, which was 61.12 feet below our conservation level. As of Wednesday, August 7, 2013, the lake has come up a total of about 9 feet from that low point. The lake has come up nearly 6 1/2 feet just since July 24, and is continuing to rise nearly 6 inches per day, as a result of Mexico increasing the water release rate from the Luis L. Leon Dam on the Rio Conchos, about 50 miles south of Presidio, Texas. The National Park Service expects the lake to continue to rise at about this rate for at least the next ten days, and perhaps longer. The reservoir in Mexico behind the Luis L. Leon Dam is currently at 130% of conservation level. Amistad Reservoir, on the other hand, is currently at 30% of conservation level.
Regular camgrounds-- Rough Canyon-- OPEN
Group Campgrounds-- Rock Quarry-- OPEN
Why does the lake level fluctuate?
It is normal for water levels at Amistad Reservoir to fluctuate. The reservoir is a man-made pool created to store water and prevent flooding. From 1992-2002, the reservoir dropped and remained low during an extended drought. A tropical storm system in 2003-2004 brought increased rain to southwest Texas and by 2005, the lake was near the conservation pool level of 1117 feet above mean sea level. Water continues to be released from Amistad Dam to provide for municipal use and irrigation for communities downstream along the Rio Grande.
Did You Know?
There are many caves or "rock shelters" like this near Amistad National Recreation Area. Many of these rock shelters show signs of having human occupation up to 10,000 years ago.