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Camping at lake was good until triple-digit heat hit

Staff writer

The number of campers at Marion County Park and Lake was very high from April through the middle of July.

“Overall for the summer, it’s been a good year for us,” lake superintendent Isaac Hett said. “It would be far and beyond what the average is.”

Then triple-digit heat set in, and people didn’t want to camp, Hett said.

Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, and an annual bluegrass festival brought campers galore, but lake use slowed down after that.

Throughout August and so far through September, camping has been slow, he said.

He doesn’t blame all of the reduced traffic on heat, though.

“I think it’s the heat and the water level being pretty low,” he said. “Right now, I’m guessing we’re every bit of five feet low.”

Despite low water levels, people have used the lake for boating and water sports.

Blue-green algae was absent all year, Hett said. It’s the first time in his years that there have been no algae advisories or warnings.

“Overall, it’s been a pretty good summer,” Hett said.

Considering the lack of rain and its effect on the lake, he’d gladly take some rain, Hett said.

Fishing has picked up in the last couple of weeks as temperatures are cooler in the morning and evening — and anglers have had success catching fish, he said.

Camping fees at the lake are $18 with hookups and $8 for primitive camping. Camping spots are first come, first served.

The dam was rebuilt after a storm caused erosion on it.

Surveying for needed work on the lake’s burphole will begin in November, Hett said.

Last modified Sept. 13, 2023

 

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