Drought Conditions Hurting Area Sportsmen

On one part of Caddo Lake near Mooringsport, the fishermen remember better days.

"The fish will usually be real good when the waters up," said fisherman David Gilmer. "You can usually go right between those pylons and come on back and get a hit. Not today."

Sportsmen here say they've slowly watched the lake slide away from the shore and the fish have gone with it. A weekend reading had Caddo Lake at 167 feet, a full three feet lower than normal.

"It's real low," Gilmer said. "It's lower then I've ever seen in my whole life."

Fishermen on this part of Caddo Lake say the water used to come up to about here but now, you can see you don't even have to use the pier to launch you boat.

That in turn creates another major problem. When a boat's out on Caddo Lake it now has a higher risk of hitting stumps and other exposed debris. One man told us he narrowly missed a stump that could have capsized his boat.

Back up on the bridge, fishermen say they've got another visual reminder of a drought's impact. Gilmer said on a good day, he can fill his ice chest full of fish, but on Sunday, he hadn't even caught one.

Tackle and bait salesmen are also at risk with low water levels. A decrease in boating often translates into a decrease in profits for them.