FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — With the start of summer, people from all over Georgia will begin to make their way to Lake Lanier to enjoy the sun and water. On May 7, the water level of the lake peaked for the year so far at 1,073 feet, which is two feet over the summer full pool. The lake has remained at full pool since.
This influx of water has positively affected the businesses along Lake Lanier.
Jon Stovall, general manager of the Bald Ridge Marina, has seen an increase of people coming to the lake since last year. He said that because of the rising water level, his business has leased more docks to people.
Stovall also said that the weather has played a major part in people coming out to the lake, including Memorial Day.
“It was better than we had last year,” Stovall said. “But it was the first time we had sunshine all weekend.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Spokeswoman Lisa Ann Parker also knows that the weather is the biggest factor in determining how successful the lake is.
“The popularity of the lake is always determined by the weather conditions and economics, and the lake has fully recovered from the drought,” Parker said. “The rangers close the parks once they’re full, and they have been this season.”
Drought is another weather concern that has caused the lake to not be as successful.
“When the lake is suffering through drought conditions, there are impacts on recreational areas such as the swim beaches and boat ramps,” Parker said. “I believe that there is a correlation between high water and recreational activities, especially during holiday weekends.”
The drought is virtually gone now with only 3 percent of the state considered abnormally dry. This is a drastic change from a year ago, where 92 percent of the state was in a drought, according to droughtmonitor.unl.edu.
This contributes to people enjoying the lake. The businesses around Lake Lanier are anticipating a successful Fourth of July because of the way the year has gone so far.
“You don’t have any of the negative advertising,” Stovall said. “Everyone’s talking about how Lake Lanier’s full and how pretty it is — and it is full and it is pretty. The water levels have been so positive, you just can’t believe it.”