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Low lake levels hurt boat business

For the first time in years, only three public boat ramps are open at Lake Nasworthy and, because of the low water level, the Concho Cruises owner is having trouble keeping his business afloat.
For the first time in years, only three public boat ramps are open at Lake Nasworthy and, because of the low water level, the Concho Cruises owner is having trouble keeping his business afloat.

When the owner of Concho Crusies first opened his boating business at Lake Nasworthy four-years-ago, he never thought more boats would be banked than in the water. Wayne Nickell said he has lost thousands of dollars and can only pay three employees. He usually has seven employees working in May.

"We can't do anything. The lake is too low and we try to take reservations for when the water does come up," Nickell said.

With the water level in Lake Naswothy at 1,867 feet, Nickell can only rent kayaks and paddle boats. He said in a few weeks, the water will be too low to rent the kayaks and he will lose more out-of-town customers. He said some customers come from El Paso, Midland, Odessa, and San Antonio.

"The dinner boat is sitting on the bottom. You can not move it at all," stated Nickell. "But, about 20 feet back there...the water is less than knee deep."

Nickell said the Pearl of the Concho used to park right here which, when it is full of water, is five-feet-deep. Right now, the water level is down to a foot-and-a half... which means the Pearl of the Concho can not get out of the marina into Lake Nasworthy.

"The boat ramps out here are so bad... the city won't fix the boat ramps where I can get out. So, I'm kinda trapped. Which, the water is so low that I can't get my pontoon boats out. ... which is no fault of their's," explained Nickell.

In the meantime, he said all he can do is wait.

"Just sit and wait. just sit and wait... that's all we can do," finished Nickell.
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