For the June story about the White Rock area residents preparing for the MR340, I visited the lake during one of their training days.
What struck me that Saturday afternoon was the willingness of people paddling near White Rock Paddle Co. (under the Mockingbird bridge) to get in the water.
In fact I found myself, after a battle with an outrigger, covered in lake water. And guess what? I didn’t melt or catch a parasite or turn green. Except for sore muscles (and pride), I was A-OK. I’m dying to get back out there, actually.
Most of us know that White Rock was once a swimming hole. In 1952 the city, following a drought, needed to tap the lake as a water supply (it’s original purpose). Hence, swimming at White Rock Lake was banned.We’ve since been informed that the water is unsafe, but there have been some efforts to change that.
The list of priorities for White Rock Lake improvements (to which funds raised from White Rock Lake Centennial events are supposed to go) includes, at number 10, water improvements, which suggests that maybe someday in the distant future, legally, people will jump in White Rock Lake again.
(Excerpt from the Advocate story about lake improvements) Aris Tsamis, who has owned Mariner Sails for 15 years, has been lobbying for the city to allow windsurfing on White Rock, and though he came close one time, and even was allowed to hold an exhibition windsurfing event once, Tsamis repeatedly was informed by the city that it was too dangerous. “I finally gave up,” he says.
The push for windsurfing at the lake, though it didn’t pan out, forced the city to take a look at water quality and tack it onto the list of top priorities. According to a plan presented by (Willis) Winters last December, a series of floating wetlands (pictured above) could serve as a design aesthetic as well as a habitat- and water-improvement measure. In order for this plan to move forward, Dallas Water Utilities would need to approve it, and an ecological restoration consultant would then help develop the plan. The design alone would cost $400,000.
So, anything is possible. Until then, the popularity of water sports, such as canoeing, at White Rock Lake is on the rise. And, by the way, did you know that swimming is also illegal at Lake Ray Hubbard, but that doesn’t stop people from getting in. Just saying.