Archive for Friday, May 23, 1997

WEATHER WILL DETERMINE ACTIVITY AT AREA LAKES

May 23, 1997

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Fishing is good, but the water will be chilly for swimmers at area lakes this weekend.

Mother Nature will determine whether thousands or only a handful of people flock to area lakes this holiday weekend.

"It's all weather driven," said Vic Counts, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake. "If it's rainy and what not, it will drop back quite a bit. If it's like it is (Thursday), we will be overwhelmed." The temperatures Thursday were in the upper 70s with sunny skies.

Thursday night's forecast for Saturday and Sunday called for a chance of thunderstorms with lows around 60 and highs in the 70s, the National Weather Service said.

On Monday, a chance of thunderstorms remained, with lows in the upper 40s to the upper 50s and highs in the upper 60s to the mid-70s.

But people appear to be betting on odds of good weather.

At Clinton's main campground area, one camping area already was full, and two others each were half full with campers on Thursday, Counts said.

North of Lawrence, the weather also will determine the amount of activity at Perry Lake, said Bob Best, owner of Lake Perry Yacht & Marina Inc.

"I think people are anxious to get out on the lake because they've been kept cooped up all winter," he said. "We're hoping for a good season."

An estimated 60,000 to 70,000 people are expected at Perry, said Frank Funk, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

He speculated that about 30 percent of the Lake's 1,000 campsites were taken as of Thursday.

"It's not going to rain all the time," Funk said. "There's a lot of good hours out there to have a lot of fun."

Jeff Jerome, public works operations division manager for Douglas County, said he expected about 600 people at Lone Star Lake each day this weekend.

If the weather is nice, Best said, the marina will go through hundreds of pounds of ice and more than 50 cases of soft drinks.

Officials said fishing on all lakes was good, particularly for crappie.

"They've been bringing in a lot of fish," Best said.

"It's excellent right now," Counts said, "both off the boats and off the shore."

The lakes also will be ready for swimming,

But only the hardiest of souls may brave water temperatures that remain on the chilly side.

At Clinton Lake, the lake temperature is 67 degrees, while it's 61 at Perry.

"The water's a little cool yet, but I saw people in it last weekend, both (water) skiing and at the swimming beaches," Best said.

"There still may be some good suntanning weather," Counts said.

He asked that people boating and camping play it safe.

"We'd like to remind them to watch out for the other guy and take it easy," Counts said.

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