by Madeline Schmitt

POTTSBORO, Texas — Lake Texoma is currently nearly eight feet below the level of water it should be during this time of year. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Ideally, the lake should be 617 feet at mean sea level, yet it’s only 610.75 feet. Those missing feet have exposed the lake bottom and allowed for weeds to take over.

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“This weed called smart weed has completely covered that bottom.. And that was lake bottom,” Fishery Biologist Bruce Hysmith of Texas Parks & Wildlife said.

Those weeds might be an unwelcome sight, but Hysmith said they’ll do something powerful to the lake once the levels rise again.

“When the water finally inundates that grass it starts dying and decaying. And when it does it produces a mild organic acid,” he explained.

That acid lowers silt levels and helps make the water clearer.

And then when the weeds decay, “You’re right back in the nutrient game of providing fertilizer to the waters of Lake Texoma,” he said.

Lake Texoma is known for a fluctuating pattern of water levels, which means it will likely flood in the future. However, it’s uncertain how far from now.

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The lowest recorded lake level for Lake Texoma was 599 feet in 1957. The highest recorded level was in 1990 when the lake flooded to 644 feet.

As for recreation during this low level time, the fishing is better because the same amount of fish are concentrated into a smaller space.

And with more lake bottom exposed, there’s more beaches.

“We’d like to see the water, but like I said, when it does flood and decays, they it’s a good thing,” Hysmith explained.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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