Wildlife Refuge Volunteers Notice Fewer Birds At Lake Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Wildlife Refuge Volunteers Notice Fewer Birds After Lake Texoma Drops

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Lake Texoma remains about eight feet below normal, and the change is clear at a Grayson County wildlife refuge where volunteers there say they're seeing fewer birds.

The meeting of water and land. It's what attracts birds and visitors to the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. "Just saw a huge great blue heron!" says Ed McLeod of Arlington, Tex.

But lately, these wetlands have been more land and less wet. "The depth of the water is gone, so you don't have diving ducks at all coming in," says refuge volunteer Dick Malnory. "The geese, when they're in, they're way way out there. You can hardly see 'em. It takes optics to see 'em."

Malnory says the water level has receded and the ponds are too low, so some of the birds they normally spot are now much harder to find.

"A lot of the diving ducks, mergansers, buffleheads, that type of thing, we're not seeing them," says Malnory. "When they're out in the lake, you can see a white string out there and you tell people, that's the geese out there."

"Not been here before. I'm amazed at how low the water levels are," says McLeod.

"You can tell it looks pretty low. It's kind of sad!" says Nan McLeod.

As measured at the Dension Dam, the lake has dropped nearly six inches in just the past week.

If it drops another foot and a half, it will officially enter what's known as Drought Level 3.,

"We have little puddles of low areas that still have  a little bit of water in them and that's attracting some shore birds or birds that'll be feeding in those shallow waters like some dabbling ducks," says Malnory.

After 10 years volunteering here, Malnory is one of many lakegoers watching with surprise as the levels continue to drop.

"I've never remembered it this low. I've seen it get down to 610. We're now below 609," says Malnory. "It's really minimized the number of ducks and waterfowl that's comes in."