See Balmorhea State Park swimming pool like never before: empty


See Balmorhea State Park swimming pool like never before: empty

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Jay Godwin
Balmorhea State Park in West Texas on a hot July day in 2012.

So, uh ... where did the little fish go?

That’s the question you might have asked yourself Wednesday if you follow Texas CCC Parks on Instagram. The account, dedicated to appreciating the Lone Star State’s New Deal-era parks, posted a picture of the spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park looking a little less splash-worthy than usual.

“Last week @balmorheastatepark cleaned its CCC-built pool,” the caption reads. “The pool has reopened and is ready for summer!” 

The closest thing to Barton Springs Pool that you’ll find in the oft-parched West Texas expanse, the historic big dip is located four miles west of Balmorhea off Texas 17 and is known for the fish that mingle with swimmers (sometimes with a bite). The American-Statesman’s Pam LeBlanc wrote in 2014:

Private concessionaires operated the park until the 1960s, when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department took it over. Today visitors flock from around the state to dip a toe or two into the enormous V-shaped pool with a natural bottom. On hot summer weekends, the park fills to capacity by noon and cars are turned away.

And the fish? Remember, Balmorhea is home to two species of endangered fish — the Comanche Springs pupfish and the Pecos Gambusia.  According to NewsWest9, those little swimmers were just fine while the pool was getting a glow-up in 2016. Water is diverted so that the level is just low enough to pressure wash the pool, the station reported, and enough wet stuff is left in the main channel for the fish to stay alive.

If this has sparked your summer travel bug, figure out how to plan your West Texas road trip at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.


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