Rainy weekend, but numbers still reach
an estimated 2,000
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Despite a rainy Memorial Day weekend, visitors to Enders Lake matched or may have been a little above those of 2014.
Last year’s start to the summer’s first big holiday weekend was a rainy one, too.
This year, rain started falling Thursday and continued each day through Sunday. Monday, Memorial Day, finished with much better conditions than the earlier four days, and included more sunshine.
Beau Licking, superintendent at the lake area southeast of Imperial, said the weekend’s weather had some effect on lake visitors. However, he still estimated there were 2,000-plus visitors this year. That’s the number he estimated last year, as well.
“People were here despite the cold and rain,” he said.
He added that, on average, there were about 20 to 25 boats out on the lake each day of the holiday weekend, but most were being used for fishing. A few more water sports enthusiasts were seen out on the water Sunday and Monday when temperatures warmed up a bit and the sun was out for parts of those two days.
Income taken in for park permits, camping and shower fees, all of which are at the same prices as last summer, was up from last year, Licking notes.
He said 68 campers were registered over the long holiday weekend.
Licking said he and his staff received a lot of compliments on the restrooms and their condition, especially noting the new ones built this year in No Name Bay, just west of the dam.
“The only complaint we had was it’s too muddy,” he smiled.
The additional rain received last week also caused him a little more work, too.
Due to the rising lake levels the north boat ramp had to be moved up further out of the lake three to three and a half feet. That ramp had been out of service for about a year due to low lake levels.
Game & Parks officials noted, however, that north boat ramp can accommodate only small boats that don’t require a lot of water to launch and low-profile trailers.
Visitors from Colorado this year may have been fewer than last. He thought about 35 percent came from Nebraska’s neighbors to the west.
Licking said a couple of the Colorado visitors told him news reports in their state mentioned the rainy forecast here and may have kept some Coloradoans home.
About 10 to 15 percent of lake visitors were from Kansas, with the rest—about half—from the southwest Nebraska area, Licking said.