Lake Level Dropping

BULL SHOALS, Ark. (KOLR) — The water level in Bull Shoals Lake can’t drop fast enough for many business and marina owners.

Flooding across the Ozarks this spring has pushed the lake well into flood pool, and it could take months for the water level to get back to normal.

“I’m here about three hours a day during the week and then almost all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” says Beaver Creek Marina manager, Dale Tate.

Tate says the water level has risen more than 20 feet since the first rainfall this year. It hasn’t only closed most of the nearby campground, it’s also turned the marina into an island.

Tate, like many marina employees on Bull Shoals, has to ferry boat owners out to their slips.

“When it first happened a few years ago we had some that really got ticked off about it and pulled their boats out and haven’t come back,” he says. “But, like I tell them, we have no control over it.”

“We just do the best we can and help everybody out,” Tate says.

Beaver Creek Campground is closed save six or seven campsites that are still above water. It’s a similar story at many of the other Corps campgrounds across the lake:

• Buck Creek – Partial Closure
• Highway 125 – Partial Closure
• Lead Hill – Closed (High-Water Boat Ramp Open)
• Oakland – Closed
• River Run – Closed
• Theodosia – Closed (Boat Ramp Open)
• Tucker Hollow – Partial Closure (Boat Ramp Open)

While the marinas can at least get boat owners to the dock the high water level is still cutting into revenues – and could continue doing so through the summer season.

“We can’t have gas, that’s a big problem,” says Tate. “But we suffice, and bring it out here in five-gallon cans. If people need gas I’ve got gas for them.”

But Tate is hopeful the water level will continue trending in the right direction – it’s dropped roughly two feet in the last week – even if it leaves plenty of debris behind.

“We will take [the weather] as it comes,” he says. “I mean, there’s nothing you can do about it so if it comes, it comes.”

The Corps of Engineers normally updates campground closures on its Facebook page each Thursday, but suggests visitors always call ahead.