Memorial Day weekend was better than expected

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day weekend turned out better than expected, according to area marina owners and officials at Roaring River State Park.

"For us, with the high water and everything, it was not a normal Memorial Day weekend, but it was not terrible either," said Gene Stimble, Campbell Point Marina owner. "We expected very little if any business, but we had some business. We were pleasantly surprised."

Although business was down compared to past Memorial Day weekends, there was traffic on Table Rock Lake this year, said Stimble.

"The lake is accessible to people, and it is slowly coming down," said Stimble. "We actually had a lot of boating traffic coming into the marina."

Over the next two weeks, new walkways will be installed, making Campbell Point Marina 100 percent accessible to all lake visitors.

"With the new walkway, we will be back to normal business," said Stimble. "As the lake comes down, we expect to see even more people on the water. We are looking at a better future this summer."

Even though campgrounds located near the Campbell Point Marina were completely full this weekend, Stimble said that camping was down this year.

"Several of the campsites are flooded right now, so we have fewer sites for people to use," said Stimble, "but they were all full."

The marina's parking lot is also flooded at this time, which keeps some individuals from utilizing facilities.

"The debris is starting to settle and clear on the lake though," said Stimble. "Forecasts are calling for less rain than we saw in May, so we are hoping that June will be a good month.

"We know that people are chomping at the bit to get out there, and we encourage them to come on down and get on the lake," said Stimble. "You can boat. You just have to be cautious."

The warm, dry weather encouraged many anglers to get outdoors this weekend, said Dusty Reid, Roaring River State Park superintendent.

"The weekend went really well," said Reid. "We had full campgrounds, and our lodging was all full. We had heavy day use on Saturday and Sunday. People seemed very happy to see the sunshine."

The park store sold 3,161 trout tags during the Memorial Day weekend. Tag sales were as follows: 358 on Friday; 887 on Saturday; 1,054 on Sunday; and 862 on Monday.

"We had a really good weekend, finally," said Paul Spurgeon, hatchery manager. "It was really great after such a bad May. We are still 20 percent down for the year, but I think people are starting to get outside now."

In addition to fishing, park visitors spent time at the park's pool, which was slightly damaged by flooding in May.

"The pool is up and running," said Reid. "We got the fence back up, and we drained the flood water out. The pool is in perfect condition now."

Area residents also enjoyed spending time swimming at the Cassville Aquatic Center this weekend.

"Attendance was wonderful," said Dove Haney, Cassville YMCA manager. "We were almost to capacity every day over the weekend.

The Cassville YMCA has added an extra lifeguard each day, which allows the pool staff to accept a few more swimmers.

"The pool is warming up quickly," said Haney. "We started at 72 degrees and now the water temperature is at 77 degrees. Everything is going great at the Aquatic Center."

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