Warning: This Is the Most Dangerous Lake in Texas
Fall fishing season is in full swing, and there are plenty of lakes all over Texas to help you catch your fill. However, there are some places in the Lone Star State that are safer than others when you're on the water.
AZ Animals states that the main cause of collisions, as well as drowning deaths, are from people not observing basic safety measures. Statistics show around 85% of victims in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets, and so their deaths were preventable. Alcohol-related incidents also were a factor in many boating fatalities.
Boating and Drinking in Texas
In Texas, if you're on a lake, it’s illegal to operate any kind of vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Passengers can drink on boats as long as the operator isn’t consuming alcohol.
Texas' Boating While Intoxicated Law
The Boating While Intoxicated law prohibits anyone from being in control of any vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including a kayak, according to Paddle Camp. Recreational education site boat-ed.com states that penalties for breaking the law can include losing your Texas Driver's License.
Most Dangerous Lake in Texas
In the State of Texas, over 300 people die in lakes every year, according to AZ Animals. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department reports that between 2010 and 2020, 26 of those deaths occurred at Lake Conroe, a 21,000-acre lake in Montgomery County.
Lake Conroe is seven miles northwest of Conroe, Texas on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Last year, Lake Conroe had six fatalities: five drownings and a fatal boating wreck, the deadliest in recent history.
Another factor that can contribute to fatalities is low water temperature. Year-round water temperatures in Lake Conroe fluctuate between an average of 48°F in the winter and 86°F in the summer. Water below 60°F can cause hypothermia, according to the National Weather Service. The sudden dip in temperature can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, creating a greater risk of drowning even for good swimmers in calm water.