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Page 2… 2010 Lake Edition

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2010 Lake Edition … Page 3

Lake Bridgeport provides family fishing, fun, and friendly competition among anglers

Cody Burdine fishing with his youngest son and partner. By Jeannette Ward For some local fishermen, going to Lake Bridgeport to take in a day of fishing is a leisurely and relaxing good time spent with family and friends. It’s a nice hobby that can be passed on through generations or maybe provide the family meal for a good old-fashioned fish fry. However, for avid fisherman Cody Burdine, fishing is much more than a family pasttime. It has become the family passion. The family doesn’t just fish for fun and food. They also fish for the thrill of competition by participating in several tournaments each year. “I’ve been fishing since I was about four years old. My Grampa from Alvord used to take me to Lake Bridgeport all the time. He would tie me to the seat of the boat so I wouldn’t fall out,” Cody laughed. Burdine passed on the family passion to his kids at about the same age. His sons, Colby, 18 and Ben, 4 clean the fish they haul in. His daughters, Emily and Shelby take a different approach. “They catch them, the boys have to clean them.” “The girls still think cleaning the fish is gross, but they all like to eat them when we are done.” Often times, the Burdine family throws back their catch, even the 40 and 50 pound cat fish they netted on Bridgeport

Lake. When asked why, Cody said, “I like watching them catch them, even the 18-year old.” For Cody and his son Colby, the family passion has

est smallmouth haul was five fish at 17 pounds. Lake Bridgeport is an excellent place to catch all kinds of bass, including largemouth bass, white bass, black bass, and hybrid striped palmetto bass. Their are also plenty of crappie, sunfish, channel catfish. The Burdines are pretty closed-mouthed about fishing tips and secret fishing holes on Lake Bridgeport; however, some of the locals were willing to share on a fishing blog about the lake. One of the local’s favorite spot is the north end of the lake at Wise County Park. “White bass can be caught on spoons or crank baits on wind blown banks, or schooling anywhere in the lake.” “Black bass are abundant,

Cody Burdine, pictured left, won third place at a Lake Bridgeport tournament. in the Media Bass Fishing Tournament’s Cowtown Sunday Division an award that took a whole season to accomplish. Colby has also won numerous tournaments and awards, including the previous Junior State Record with a 10.25 pound largemouth bass. Last year, Burdine decided to take the fishing competition to the next level. He wanted to host a tournament as a fundraisier for United Way. As an employee of Devon Energy Company in Bridgeport, Burdine helped organize their first annual “Keeping it Reel” tournament which netted

over $3,300.00 for the United Way of Wise County. The tournament hosted 43 teams, including the team of Colby and one of Cody’s best fishing partners, Keith Bryan. By the end of the tournament, the United Way was not the only winner. Colby and Bryan also took home the “Biggest Bass” award, with a 5.38 pound catch. Burdine said that he plans on having another tournament this summer to benefit the United Way. He hopes it is the beginning of a tradition that will last for generations, just like the tradition of fishing has lasted in his family.

Catfish caught on Lake Bridgeport. become a friendly competition between father and son. “We compete for the biggest fish or the largest haul. Colby may tell you different, but I’m still the better fisherman - for now.” Colby declares himself the better fisherman. “Dad always has a partner hauling in big fish,” he said jokingly. “ I usually beat him on my own.” Burdine’s favorite fish to catch in Bridgeport Lake is the smallmouth bass. His largest smallmouth weighed in at about five pounds, but the larg-

and can be caught on just about every type of rig in the book.” White crankbaits or spinnerbaits seem to get the most hits according to locals. “Fishing a Texas-rigged finesse worm around docks or on rocky banks can also be productive.” Trade secrets are what give the Burdines the “edge” according to Colby. In the 50 or more tournaments Cody has participated in, he has won at least 20, - 11 of which were on Lake Bridgeport. Cody has also won “Angler of the Year” Cody Burdine holding a bass, caught on Lake Bridgeport.

Page 4… 2010 Lake Edition

Butterfield Mail Company’s route passed Col. Hunt’s headquarters in what is now Lake Bridgeport by Dr. Robert Marlett and Keith Bridwell February, 2010, marked the sesquicentennial of the first bridging of the Trinity River at a site that became the village of Bridgeport, Texas. That bridge was built to accommodate the Overland Mail Company’s route from the eastern railhead at Tipton, Missouri, through Decatur, Bridgeport, Jacksboro and on to San Francisco on the west coast. This John Butterfield venture was the first, and longest, transcontinental stage coach route in the world. Although a mail stagecoach route already existed from San Antonio to California, it did not connect directly to eastern railroads as Butterfield’s route did. The Wise County part of this great mail, freight and passenger route was constructed primarily by local folks, led by Col. W.H. Hunt, who saw the benefits of this kind of commerce for Wise County. This road left the “bridged port” and proceeded west for about two miles. It ascended the hill that borders Lake Bridgeport on its southeastern side. This is probably where FM 1658 turns from west to north in the City of Lake Bridgeport. Proceeding south-southwest approximately three hundred yards down Twin Hills Road, it then turned slightly west and entered the valley now inundated by Lake Bridgeport. It crossed Boon’s Creek and passed near Col. Hunt’s ranch headquarters. Next, it passed between the hills that are now called Rattlesnake and Horse Islands. The road then ascended the western side of the valley and proceeded along a route that is now Jim Ned Road, passing through the northern part of what became Wizard Wells, on to Jacksboro and thence to San Francisco. A.C. Greene’s 900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail described Waterman L. Ormsby accompanying two small packages of mail from St. Louis to San

Francisco in 1858 on the first westbound journey of the Butterfield, and riding directly from Joseph B. Earhart’s station at Hog Eye Prairie, as the area was called, inside Jack County, “to Jacksborough, fording the West Fork of the Trinity River about halfway between the two stations. “In December, 1858, a small station was established at this West Fork crossing because frequent flooding often caused the river to be too high to ford, so passengers and m a i l needed shelter until the water went down. “Albert D. Richardson, on September 28, 1859, arrived on the westbound stage at 1 a.m. and ‘found the West Trinity too much swollen for fording. The little station was full; so we slept refreshingly upon corn-

husks in the barn.’” Next morning, Mr. Greene’s account tells that “passengers crossed the river on ‘a slippery log’ while the drivers, conductor and station men carried the heavy mail bags over the same way. Another coach was waiting on the

far bank to continue the trip.” “The 1860 stage route ran slightly north of Wizard Wells. (It was originally named Vineyard for George Washington Vineyard. When the Rock Island Railroad built through in 1898, another town, some two

miles south, became Vineyard.) The stage line, from a few miles above it, paralleled modern U.S 380 into the Jacksboro station, south of the town square. “The 1858 Butterfield route, which had passed far north of both Decatur and Bridgeport, followed a southwest course from the Earhart station location on the banks of Big Sandy Creek, and it, too, passes through many roadless acres laced by the maze of West Fork (Trinity) bottoms. “But Highway 1810, while paved, sticks close enough to the old roadway to furnish the atmosphere of the run, going by Cundiff and Maryetta, four miles west. It’s a pleasant drive, but if you are bound to drive over a stretch of the old trail, there is a gravel road off to the left less than a mile west

of Cundiff which, in its eleven miles or so, uses more than two miles of the mail road. “The passage is more than worth the extra mileage involved in traveling it. The West Fork of the Trinity station was located on the north bank, just east of where the present road crosses the West Fork.” From Decatur to Bridgeport the modern highway must follow the old mail road fairly closely. Mr. Greene continues, “Going south through town [Bridgeport], you come to a marker telling about the toll bridge, built over the West Fork of the Trinity in 1860, and the site of the old town of Bridgeport, which occupied a meadow some 50 feet to the east of the river crossing. As the historical plaque states, the wooden toll bridge fell in shortly after the Butterfield ceased operating in 1861. The town moved over about a mile to the railroad when it built to this point in 1893, despite the fact a sturdy iron bridge had replaced the fallen wooden one in 1873.”

2010 Lake Edition … Page 5

First Lake Superintendent, C. L. McNair, tells of flood that caused lake’s creation (Note: C.L. McNair, the first Superintendent of Lake Bridgeport, drafted a history of the lake while in office. This is a verbatim copy of the document.) The flood that occurred in May 1922, causing a property damage to Fort Worth of approximately $3 million dollars, not including private losses and thirty-seven deaths, was an event that caused the creation of flood control on the West Fork of the Trinity River. Mr. Ireland Hampton, manager of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 1922 and 1924, promoted the political setup which brought about the creation of the Water Improvement District. Major John B. Hawley and

Mr. K. Roby, Engineers, gave their time in promoting the flood control project, being assisted by the State Board of Water Engineers. Through the publicity given, Mr. Eugene Munn, of Boyd and Mr. S.F. Lillard of Bridgeport became interested at about the same time, and called on the local association at Fort Worth and requested an inspection trip in Wise County. Mr. Munn was interested in reclaiming overflow lands near Boyd. Mr. Lillard, knowing the topography of the river region west of Bridgeport, which afforded an ideal basin for a great water storage reservoir, discovered a place which he thought would be a good location for a continued on page 40 This is Trinity River’s spillway during a flood in June , 1930.

Photo by C.L. McNair

This photo shows the water side of the dam. The construction company would finely grade the rock, cover it with 6” crushed stone, and then top it with 15” “riprap”. Photo by C.L. McNair

Page 6… 2010 Lake Edition

Lake Bridgeport’s beginnings:

Wise County excited for work, water In the 1920s, Wise County and the rest of the nation were in the Great Depression, and Lake Bridgeport, still in the planning stages, generated excitement. Former Runaway Bay Mayor Jim Bowlin, raised in the Bay area, remembers when the lake was a dream by the Tarrant County Water Board and the U.S. Corps of Engineers to give the people of this area some work and water for their crops. “People were just existing,” Bowlin said. “The prospect of this lake created great excite-

ment in that farmers and ranchers around here could stick a pipe in something like this and get some water.” The Lake Bridgeport project began in 1929. The levee on the south of Highway 380 before crossing the bridge at Runaway Bay was built largely by hand during the Depression. Rocks were hauled in by wagons and teams; mules and horses pulled the wagons and got all the rocks in this area, Bowlin said. “The whole idea,” he said, “was to make work for the poor farmer, and they were all poor.

This wasn’t a situation where trucks dumped rocks and bulldozers came along and pushed them up there. These rocks were laid by wagon and team, then by hand. The lake work project was for farmers and ranchers who were on their last leg, and townspeople if they had a wagon and team; no trucks were allowed.” The workers then cleared timber from the area between the present Runaway Bay bridge on 380 and the Twin Hills dam, some three miles away. “People would draw lots for

the area they were supposed to clear,” he said. “You might draw a lot where there were very few mesquite trees and the next poor soul might draw one down in the heavy timbered bottom land, and that was tough. You had to cut it, burn it, and get rid of it. “During the lake construction, entire families would camp out here in tents. Some of the youngsters would ride the school bus to Bridgeport,” he said. Excitement was running high because people couldn’t

imagine living next to and working on what was supposed to be the largest man-made lake in Texas at the time. Farmers would bring their produce to sell to the workers: cantaloupes, eggs, and butter. Bowlin remembers when farmers couldn’t sell their eggs for a nickel a dozen or butter for ten cents a pound. Lake Bridgeport, completed in December 1931, is the northernmost and thirdlargest reservoir in the Tarrant County Water Control and Improvement District.

Seen here is one of the reproductions of six photographs that currently hang in the office of Lake Superintendent Richard Ellis. This photograph depicts the construction of the Lake Bridgeport flood gates and was originally taken by the Freese and Nichols Engineering firm. The Fort Worthbased company was hired by the Tarrant Regional Water District to construct the dam, and Ellis says that the 1920 blueprints of the dam were also done by the Freese and Nichols firm. Reproduction photograph taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

2010 Lake Edition … Page 7

Building of Lake Bridgeport brought needed jobs to area

This photograph depicts the construction of the Lake Bridgeport dam. Reproduction photograph taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

As you drive across Lake Bridgeport it is sometimes hard to remember that it was made by the hand of man. Without a knowledge of the history of this body of water a person wouldn’t know that men once labored where the water is now, to cut down and remove trees, clearing the basin for the lake. They wouldn’t know that some of the men stood in line for the work so they could make two or three dollars a day to feed their families perhaps the one meal they would get daily. The families often waited for the provider in a home that was only a lean-to made from an old tarpaulin set up near the work site. It was 1929 and the country was in the grip of the Great Depression. When construction of the lake was announced it was greeted with enthusiasm not only by those who wanted to prevent future flooding of the West Fork of the Trinity River but by men who were desperate for work. Also, two men, Eugene Munn of Boyd and S.F. Lillard of Bridgeport became interested in reclaiming overflow lands near Boyd. According to C.L. McNair,

the first superintendent of the lake, Lillard knew the topography of the Trinity River region west of Bridgeport and believed it was an ideal basin for a water storage reservoir and discovered a good location for a dam. At that time, Wise County had no reservoir and Tarrant County, downstream had no flood plan. Despite the building of an earthen levee in 1914, the West Fork of the Trinity flooded Fort Worth and Bridgeport more than once causing millions of dollars in damage and numerous deaths. Some area historians say that the most serious flood occurred in 1870. The waters completely covered the Old Bridgeport that was located about a mile west of present downtown, near the original toll bridge across the Trinity on Farm Road 920. In 1907 the West Fork flooded again, this time covering the entire area from the Rock Island Railroad to downtown with back water. It was a week before the waters receded. It brought commerce to a standstill and trains did not run, preventing anyone in Bridgeport from receiving or sending

mail. The coal mines were obviously shut down. A slope mine that snaked under the hill at the corner of Hovey and 10th Street had escaped being inundated because of the large pile of mine shale outside the entrance. A guard was posted night and day to sound the alarm should waters begin to enter the shaft. When the water was gone it was replaced with a layer of mud and silt making Bridgeport an unpleasant place to be. Residents had to deal with a foul odor along with the mud. There were also health concerns, typhoid being the most feared, but no cases were reported. Another flood in 1922 caused at least 37 deaths in Fort Worth alone, prompting the city to create an organization that would work on flood control. This organization later became the Water Improvement District. Enter Munn and Lillard. The two worked to sell the idea of a dam on the West Fork, four miles west of Bridgeport, to the Fort Worth members of the Water Improvement District. In 1925 the proposed dam

site was inspected by a group of men including the director of the improvement district, W.E. Bideker, attorney Ireland Hampton, engineer John B. Hawley, Chairman of the State Board of Water Engineers John A. Norris, Munn and Lillard. Norris requested that borings be made to test the soil and its suitability for a foundation which turned out to be favorable. Plans for two dams were adopted as part of flood control, the dam at Bridgeport and another at Eagle Mountain Lake. Voters approved a bond issue on Oct. 7, 1927 to provide money for the construction of the dams which began in 1929. The dams were also being built to furnish a water supply for the fast growing Tarrant County. Building of the levee along U.S. Hwy 380 near the bridge that now crosses to Runaway Bay was done by hand. Rocks were brought in by wagon from the surrounding area and any townspeople with a wagon and team could find employment. Trucks were not even allowed.

Once the levee was finished, work began on clearing timber from the area between present day Runaway Bay bridge on Hwy. 380 and the Twin Hills dam, located three miles away. Workers drew lots to determine which area they would clear. If a man was lucky he would draw a lot where there were very few mesquite trees. If a man was unlucky he might draw a lot down in the heavy timbered bottom land. The timber had to be cut, burned.. just eliminated. It was during this construction that entire families would camp out in tents. Farmers brought their produce to sell to the workers, canteloupes, eggs and butter. Despite the tough times there was a lot of excitement among the workers and their families in being a part of what was supposed to be the largest man-made lake in Texas at the time. Lake Bridgeport was completed in 1931 and is the northernmost and third largest reservoir in the Tarrant County Water Control an Improvement continued on page 39

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Page 8… 2010 Lake Edition

Many websites offer more information about lake by Staff If you have a little time, and you want to learn even more about Lake Bridgeport, you can get online for information. Many websites exist that can link you to information about Lake Bridgeport. The following websites can lead you to more information about the topics in which you may wish to learn, or just a place to visit for the fun of it. The Lake Bridgeport website is within reach at It’s a place where you can find all

kinds of links to other information about the area around the lake. You can report people who litter, find out about the Sand Flat Volunteer Fire Department, read unofficial Lake Bridgeport news, find out about Lake Bridgeport’s Sportsman’s Association, and find many other links that could be helpful, including a link to the Bridgeport Historical Society. The website notes Lake Bridgeport as “11,954 acres with a maximum depth of 85 feet. The lake was created in 1932 to future flooding

Share fishing skills with your children Too much Nintendo? Summer boredom? “Nothing to do,” the typical remark coming from your youngster in the summer? Take them fishing! Summer is a great time to take a kid fishing and share an outdoor activity that can be especially easy, fun, and inexpensive. All you need is some basic fishing equipment, like a rodand-reel combination which can be obtained at your local sporting goods outlet or bait and tackle store. Add a bobber,

some small hooks, split shot, and a can of worms. The whole bill won’t top $20, and you’ll find it is the best money you ever spent. Then head for a pond, stream, lake, or other water source near your home where you know there are some fish such as catfish or crappie. When fishing with kids, keep it simple. Long casts are not necessary. Let the youngster do all the casting and reeling. Make it a fun learning experience with or without catching any fish.

of the city of Fort Worth. Bridgeport reservoir was built with a flood control capacity of 580,000 acre-feet and conservation capacity of 290,000 acre feet. The original spillway had three 20-foot bays, two equipped with vertical lift gates and the third left open.” On this website, you can also find a link to the current Lake Bridgeport fishing report and records. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Website has a link to Lake Bridgeport and Wise County Park at There you can learn about official facts about the lake, and the state park. More information is to be learned about Bridgeport Conference Center by logging on to To learn about a visitor’s guide online, log on to Fishing information can be found by logging on to At that website, you will find a “Google” search engine that searches just the sport fishing site. Enter “Lake Bridgeport,” and find out more. At, you

can learn more about Wise County, which is where most of Lake Bridgeport is located. To learn more about the Tarrant County Water District, log on to There you can find facts about lake levels, more history on the lake, and other educational topics about Lake Bridgeport. To learn about the City of Lake Bridgeport, log on to At, you can find information on gaining a licensed guide to go out on the lake. Waterfront resident Keith Bunch is the owner/operator of Lake Bridgeport Guide Service, and with a lifetime of fishing, comes with plenty of experience on this lake. If all that isn’t enough information for you about Lake Bridgeport, there are some random blogs out there; just search the Internet, and you may come across them. On facebook, Lake Bridgeport has their own site. You can find it at lakebridgeport. While the site doesn’t provide much information, it has pictures of the lake during all seasons submitted by

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fans of the site who have been to the lake. Fans are also invited to post comments on the site. Robert Baird, of Ft. Worth, says, “I live in Fort Worth. I learned to water sky on Lake Bridgeport. I remember loading up almost every Friday evening and heading out for Lake Bridgeport.” James Simpson commented on the facebook page, “Lot of great memories growing up on Lake Bridgeport. My grandfather (Cotton Boring) was an engineer when the lake was being built in 1929 and up until 1980 had his own bait house there in Twin Hills on Cottons Rd.” When you’re done reading about the lake, it will still be there waiting on you to get your feet wet in its waters.

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2010 Lake Edition … Page 9

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Page 10… 2010 Lake Edition

Fish that reside in Lake Bridgeport by staff Texas lakes provide a mouth-watering assortment of fresh water fish from Bass to Crappie. In Lake Bridgeport, the locals know where to find the fish, and it’s what’s for dinner. Most of Lake Bridgeport’s 170-mile shoreline makes an excellent bass habitat. It consists of 7 miles of rip-rap, 90 miles of boulders, and many coves and points. The Sid Richardson Scout Ranch near Windy Point, provides an environment most fish love to call home. Gravel piles. There are several submerged gravel piles that were deposited when the West Fork Trinity River flowed free and uncontrolled. The piles provide an excellent habitat for white and black bass. Along with the gravel, there is floating pondweed, cattails, and a vegetative cover of bulrush. Crappie are more easily caught, during the winter months, when the fish school around structures located in deep water. The spring months bring the crappie into shallow water where they intend to spawn. The main-lake points, ledges, and channels provide an excellent wintertime habitat for crappie. For Lake Bridgeport, Bean Creek and Big Creek are two of the best spots for crappie during the spring with minnows and jigs being the bait of choice year round.

Lake Bridgeport has been known to boast some rather large channel cats. These fishing line breakers are best in the spring when tributaries are running and again in the summer when the fish concentrate on their “sunning” atop submerged flats and can be driftfished with shrimp or cut bait. White bass fishing is best during the spring spawning season. All main-lake points and any inflowing tributaries are good places to snag one of these beauties, but you are likely to see them anywhere. It is not unusual to see them during the summer months in front of the dam, near Rattlesnake Island in open water, and around those coveted gravel piles. The winning baits here are surface lures, plastic shad, small spoons, jigs, and live minnows or shad. Hybrid striped bass like the same bait, and can be found in the same locations, but during the winter months they can usually be found feeding on shad and drawing the attention of hundreds of sea gulls. The average fisherman can look forward to finding a variety of black bass in Lake Bridgeport including largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth. They are caught year round, but spring and fall are tops for the most successful trips. For those who want nothing but a trophy catch, try fishing in February and March.

Photo submitted

Successful baits for the spring months are the Carolina Rig worm or 6-inch lizard, a Texas rigged worm measuring 7inches, and crankbaits. As summer rolls around the jig and pig, spoons, Texas rigged worms, and crankbaits seem to work the best. If fall finds you on or in the

water fishing for bass, try crawfish-mimicking baits, spinners, and jigs in turbid and shallow water. These grandpappy fish are just waiting for the roll of a spinner bait, bump of a crankbait, or a Texas rigged worm being dabbled around the gravel piles to make their strike. When they do, you

better be holding on to something solid, or have someone holding on to you! No matter what type of fisherman you are, beginner, amateur, or bonafide pro, Lake Bridgeport has it all. So plan a trip to the area and see what this beautiful lake can do for your family’s memory box.

Different types of fishing Fishing is a sport that captivates many people. It provides more than just a chance for a leisurely getaway; fishing is also big business. According to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), there are 40 million anglers in the United States alone. Fishing enthusiasts and people who fish for a living help to employ the manufacturers of fishing poles, lures, tackle boxes, and all of the other necessities for the sport. It is estimated that $45 billion in retail sales are generated each year from sportfishing. A report by the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists California as the state with the most recreational anglers ages 16 and up for that year. But all across the country, anglers cast their lines for fun - and new fishing recruits sign up every season. There are many different types of fishing, so you're bound to find a method you will enjoy. Here's a look at some of the popular types. Fishing line fishing: This is by far the most popular type of fishing around. Using a rod and line, a fisherman attempts to hook a fish with a hook and bait. Hand fishing: This type of fishing is just what the name implies. A person uses his or her hands to catch a fish, such as in lobster or pearl diving. In some areas of the southern U.S. catfish are caught this way. This type of fishing for catfish is called noodling. Trolling: This is a form of fishing that involves drawing the fishing lure through the water in order to attract fish. This method is often used when fishing for big game fish such as marlin and tuna. Bow/Spear fishing: This is based on a primitive type of fishing where a person stands above the water to shoot or spear a fish. In the past the spears were hand-thrown and the bows hand-powered. Today, automatic spear guns and pneumatic bows help propel the weapon at the target. Dredging: This is a method of attaching a large net or chain mesh behind a boat to scoop up fish. It is commonly used to catch scallops and oysters, and is typically associated with commercial fishing. Fishing can take place on the shore, while standing in the water or aboard a boat. Regardless of the type, the end result is to catch a meal or a trophy fish. Still, most sportfishing enthusiasts simply fish for the thrill, and then throw their catch back. Bait Fishing vs. Spin Fishing Sportfishermen typically use two main methods of catching fish when line fishing. Bait fishing involves using live or dead bait, which the fisherman attaches to a hook. Depending upon the fish sought out, the bait will either lie on the hook at the bottom of the water, be jigged to attract the fish, or slowly reeled in to catch a fish's eye. Spin fishing relies on using an artificial lure that will spin under the water attracting fish. The lure is chosen to mimic the natural prey of the species being fished.

2010 Lake Edition … Page 11

Runaway Bay Chupacabra provides great campfire stories since it did not appear to have the mange. She said the raccoon is simply “an anomaly.” The scientific identification did not convince all of the locals that they were not in the midst of a legend. While the local media ran with the story of the legend, some local business owners honored the “mystical creature” with a T-shirt depicting the beast swinging the gold club on the 14th hole. The media has also “spoofed” the finding by creating a poster for the “First Annual Runaway Bay

Chupacabra Cook-off” depicting a manipulated image of the creature flipping burgers on a grill. Whether you believe or not, the story of the Runaway Bay Chupacabra has become the most recent “fish story” for the local residents. The story will undoubtedly be one of the favorites when families and friends gather at the campfire. Who knows, the legendary Chupacabra may just pull up a lawn chair to take in the publicity.

Photo submitted

Photo submitted by Jeannette Ward The legend of the chupacabra has intrigued the locals for centuries. While some consider the strange animal a myth, others are convinced the blood sucking animal exists. In January of 2010, the carcass of a strange hairless creature was found on the 14th hole of the Runaway Bay Golf Course. Weighing in at only seven pounds, the creature was approximately 12 inches long, had sharp teeth, paws like a raccoon and a short, curly tail like a possum. Dr. Heidi Shopp of the Bridgeport animal hospital had “no idea” what the creature was. “He had no marks or wounds, only a few whiskers. I’ve never seen anything like him before. None of us could identify him.” After no one could put a label on the strange creature, Tony Potter, the golf course

maintenance man who found the animal, dubbed him “the legendary Chupacabra.” The word Chupacabra comes from the Spanish words chupar, meaning “to suck”, and cabra, meaning “goat”. The name comes from the animal’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Although eyewitness sightings vary, the Chupacabra is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail; a far cry from what was found on the 14th hole. Finally, a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department declared that the alleged Runaway Bay Chupacabra was a hairless raccoon. The biologist, Jennifer Barrow, said, “The feet, skull and dental formation all matched a raccoon.” She didn’t speculate as to how the animal lost its hair,


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Page 12… 2010 Lake Edition

Surveyor’s journals from the 1930s and ‘40s provide interesting glimspe into the past of Lake Bridgeport

Owen Funk

by J.D. Clark Sometimes, the most interesting historical accounts are buried in places that most people would never think of. Take, for example, the notebooks of Owen Funk. Funk was a Wise County surveyor who spent a great deal of time working at Lake Bridgeport in the 1930s and 1940s. Funk’s notebooks are now the property of Tommy Edwards Surveyors in Decatur. Amidst his technical surveying jargon, Funk peppered his notes with colorful comments on different events encountered during his surveys. It often feels more like a journal than a professional notebook. For example, on his entry from December 16, 1949, Funk noted that the weather was “cold as hell.” The opposite can be found on his August 17, 1956, entry when he noted the weather was “fair and

hotter than hell” at 108 degrees. Funk was sometimes very specific with his notes on the weather. A good example is on June 9, 1949, when he wrote that it was “moderately windy” from the south-southeast. In that same year, Funk and his crew battled high temperatures in July. On July 19, Funk recorded the temperature as “fair and hot” at 102 degrees. The next day, it was up to 104 degrees, and up to 106 degrees on July 21. It remained about the same (at 105 degrees) on July 22. On July 25, Funk and his crew began working at 5:50 a.m. when the temperature was still at 95 degrees. The following day, however, they didn’t begin working until 6:00 p.m. It is evident that some of Funk’s notes were made simply because they interested him, not because they pertained to his business. For example, on October 12,

1944, Funk had drawn a map of the lake. However, on one area he wrote, “Bean lost $2.00 here,” in a reference to George Bean, one of his crew men. In June of 1952, Funk was doing work at the park at the Bridgeport Lake Beach, a public swimming and recreation area that no longer exists. Funk’s diagrams indicate that the park included a dancefloor and restrooms. In this section of his notebook, Funk noted that a boy with the last name of Hankins drowned at the park on June 15, 1952. There are also some interesting observations on wildlife. On April 1, 1931, Funk said a rattlesnake was killed after it bit a worker named Bingham on the boot. Funk, however, also noted there was no flesh wound. On June 21, 1951, Funk noted that a rattlesnake was killed that was 44 inches long and had ten continued on page 27

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2010 Lake Edition … Page 13

Lakefoto by Shelley Moore

Legends abound about Devil’s Den treasure by Rosemary Bridwell For rugged beauty and promise of adventure, Devil’s Den has a reputation that reaches over a hundred years into the past. The nearly mile-long canyon has drawn rattlesnake hunters, history buffs, the hard and the curious to lake Bridgeport the way the Lorelei is said to draw sailors to their destruction. Devil’s Den, now a part of the Sid Richardson Scout Ranch, is on the west side of Lake Bridgeport. Located on a former section of the Ash Ranch, Devil’s Den was caused by a geological fault where rocks have fallen

off through the years and left high cliffs that drop straight down. According to legend, Devil’s Den has been the hiding place of army deserters and notorious outlaws, and a campground for various Indian tribes. That was in the day when natural caves abounded in the high rock cliffs of the canyon. In recent years, rock slides have covered the entrance to the caves, and even longtime Devil’s Den explorer Bennie Trammell of Bridgeport can no longer find his way into any of the caves he knew so well. The spring that fed a stream running most of the length of

the canyon still runs most of the year. The water, ice cold in summer and warm in winter, was one of the benefits the location offered as a campground for Indians. Slick limestone deposits glaze the spring bed. Chief Jim Ned, Wise County’s most famous Indian, is said to have lived in Devil’s Den and gone on raiding parties from there. Trammell believes the chief was buried there and later removed to an Oklahoma burial ground. Stories have persisted over the years that Devil’s Den is the site of Wise County’s largest buried treasure. Legend has it that $200,000 in gold coins

was buried there during an Indian raid before the end of the Civil War. A rock found near the lake in 1937 by Trammell and his brothers is marked with strange carvings that Trammell still believes point the way to the location of the gold treasure, if somebody could interpret the signs. The figure $80,000 was carved into one corner of the rock that has since been broken off. The remainder of the rock may still be seen at the general store at the Scout Ranch. Trammell says as far as he knows, the treasure has never been found. A hermit said to have made

his home in Devil’s Den in the old days may have stashed away another treasure in gold coins in one of the canyon’s many caves. According to legend, the old hermit kept a herd of sheep and never left the canyon. A Chico doctor, who went through the Den on his way to Wizard Wells, carried supplies to the hermit and treated him when he was sick. The hermit would disappear into one of the caves and would return with the doctor’s pay in gold coins. Speculation was that the old man was hiding out from the law and that the gold was from a hold-up.

Page 14… 2010 Lake Edition

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center’s ShareLunker Program by Whitney Bridwell Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) is headquarters for the ShareLunker program, which encourages anglers who have caught 13-pound plus largemouth bass to lend or donate the fish to TPWD for spawning purposes. The ShareLunker program can be traced back to the 1950’s drought. The 10-year dry spell brought the realization to Texans that our population had outgrown the water supply. Over the next two decades, many reservoirs were built in an attempt to keep up with the demand. Texas had only one natural lake - Caddo - and the northern, the native species of Texas bass, was adapted to living in streams. Fish adapted to live in large lakes were needed to take advantage of the new reservoirs. TPWD brought the first Florida strain largemouth bass to Texas in 1971, where they were housed at the Tyler Fish Hatchery (now closed). The first Florida strain bass were stocked into Texas waters the following year. Over the next several years bass from Florida, California and Cuba were brought to Texas to improve the genetics of the Texas bass population. As the Florida strain genes worked their way into the bass population, fish grew larger. In 1980 a 14.1-pound bass broke the state record of 13.5 pounds that had stood for 43 years. Time and time again, the record was broken leading to the 18.18-pound fish caught in 1992. Interest in bass fishing burgeoned along with the size of the fish. The ShareLunker program (formerly called Operation Share a Lone Star Lunker) was established in 1986 to promote catch-and-release of large fish and to selectively breed trophy largemouth bass. The first fish entered into the program was also a new state record, a 17.67-pounder caught from

Lake Fork in November. The name of the program was changed in 1993 to Share a Lunker, Inc. and it was merged with the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. From 1996-2008, Anheuser Busch was the official sponsor and the name was changed to Budweiser ShareLunker Program. Since the inception of the program, more than 400 largemouth bass have been donated from 55 public reservoirs and more than a dozen private lakes. As the program grew, it became obvious that the Tyler hatchery was inadequate, but there was no state money available to build a new hatchery. It was decided to let cities bid to become the site and help raise the money for it. Specifications called for the facility to be built within 50 miles of Lake Fork, where the majority of large fish are caught. The Athens community pledged more than $4 million to win the bidding for the site. The balance of the cost came from federal Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration funds and donations. No state money was used for construction. The Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center was built around the ShareLunker Program. The Visitor Center complex, including the Lunker Bunker, was completed in 1996, and the exterior hatchery ponds went into operation in 1998. The ShareLunker Program has been instrumental in illustrating the importance of catchand-release fishing in the development of trophy largemouth bass fisheries. Data collected by the program shows that it takes 8-10 years for a bass to grow to 13-pound size. Slot limits that protect large fish have been proven effective in increasing the quality of fishing. The increasing popularity of bass fishing in Texas paral-

lels the increase in number and quality of fish in Texas reservoirs. Fish have benefitted from the program as well. When the program began, little was known about the procedures needed to care for big bass. Over time, better care has increased survival to the extent that nearly all entry fish survive to be used for spawning or are returned to the wild. More importantly, proper fish handling techniques have been publicized as part of the program so anglers are now able to take better care of the fish they catch.

How to Enter a Lunker If your fish meets the requirements listed below, call TFFC’s toll-free, 24 hour pager at (888)784-0600 (October 1 -

April 30 only) or (903)6810550. 1.) The program is limited to largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more. 2.) Entries are accepted October 1 - April 30. 3.) The fish must be legally caught in Texas waters. 4.) Fish must be weighed on certified or legal-for-trade scales. Certified scales are scales that have been certified as accurate by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) or a commercial scales calibration company. 5.) Possession of the fish must be transferred to a designated Texas Parks and Wildlife Department representative within 12 hours after capture.

Call TPWD as soon as possible with your name, where the fish is located, a telephone number where you can be reached and when and where you caught the fish. Be sure to include your area code when leaving a message on the pager. 6.) A TPWD employee will be solely responsible for accepting a fish into the program based on the expectation that the fish will be able to survive and spawn. Fish held at Weigh and Holding Stations are not officially entered into the ShareLunker program until accepted by a TPWD representative. 7.) The angler must sign a release absolving all sponsors, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Parks and continued on page 38

Eleven year old Tre' Melton of Ponder, caught this Hybrid Striper weighing in at 10.5 pounds. It was certified a Hybrid by Game Warden Chris Dowdy and was entered in the Texas Parks and Wildlife record book for Bridgeport. It was caught on Friday March 23, 2008. Photo submitted

2010 Lake Edition … Page 15

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Being the new hospital in Bridgeport and western Wise County is exciting for us, and we hope for you. Our location gives you the opportunity for quality medical care close to home, and we honor all insurance programs. New specialty fields like those shown above are being added regularly in the interest of addressing all your health and wellness needs. Additional specialists are coming on board, and the new medical office building is completed and in use. We take pride in being “YOUR PARTNER IN HEALTH AND WELLNESS.” Count on us.

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Page 16‌ 2010 Lake Edition

Gunplay was also part of history of building of Lake Bridgeport Dam The following is an account by W.E. Hembree of what was called the Battle of Mount Horeb which occurred during the building of the dam at Lake Bridgeport. In 1930 the construction of the dam at Lake Bridgeport was started by Trinity Farms and Uvalde Construction Companies as the prime contractors. There were several subcontractors for various parts. Among them was the Leamon Clearing Contractors. Mr. Leamon being from the Rio Grande Valley area brought his crew of workers with him, most of whom were of Mexican nationality. This did not meet with the approval of the local citizens and much talk was spread as to what was to be done about placing the local people in these jobs held by

foreigners. The tense situation grew as the days went by and a group of the local citizens surrounded Mr. Leamon and his body guard one day in the Frost Drug store. The discussion was very heated and threats were expressed by several different ones including Mr. Leamon and his guard. The prime reason why a thing like this would happen was that people were in need of food and clothing. Some who were on the hiring line each morning asking and begging for a job were only eating one meal a day. The members of the family would stay in bed most of the morning while the bread winner went to look for a job. When he returned they all would gather at the noon meal for their only meal of that

day. Sometimes it was only a very small sandwich to each member of the family. Coffee or hot chocolate was an unknown item on most anyone’s daily menu. The Leamon factions were housed up in the old Mount Horeb school house. The building being vacant and the school had been consolidated with the Bridgeport Independent School system. There were some 30 or 40 workers in the Leamon gang. A few of the local people were hired by Mr. Leamon, he paid $3 per day for clearing brush and trees from the lake basin. A few days after the discussion between the group of local citizens and Mr. Leamon and his body guard, the two leaders of the local citizens were given instructions to stay

in town on a certain night and to stay where they would be seen by all of the public. At that time that was not hard to do because all stores stayed open until midnight. The leaders obeyed the instructions. On the set date about 9 p.m. the Leamon camp was thrown into a turmoil, the first shot had been fired into the Leamon Camp. For the next thirty minutes some 200 shots had been fired into the Leamon compound, and equal amount had been fired from the Leamon faction. The attacking forces seemed to be only three people as only three types of bullets could be detected. One was a 39 caliber, probably of German make. A 33 rifle and a shot gun using one ounce balls, probably from a 12 gauge shot gun.

The attackers disappeared as quickly and as silently as they had come But in their wake they had not only left broken windows and one of the Leamon faction wounded by a pistol shot from a 38 caliber, they had created an international incident. Mexican nationals were in danger and had been fired upon by unknown parties. The Wise County Sheriff was called. Sheriff George Young and one of his deputies, Marvin Roach, answered the call. When Sheriff Young arrived about an hour later, men were running everywhere and shooting at the least possible noise. It was indeed a risk to be among them. At a later date Young told me that he felt that he was a very small force to continued on page 51

2010 Lake Edition … Page 17

Boating safety is of high importance on the water

Lakefoto by Keith Bridwell by Paul Barnett Safety on the water is of the utmost importance while boating. Whether it be skiing, wakeboarding, tubing or riding jet-ski’s, there are several important precautions individuals need to make in order to stay safe. First of all, vessels must have life jackets for all persons on board the boat. Children under 13 years of age must

wear a life jacket at all times when the boat is underway. Anyone who is operating a personal watercraft (jet-ski) must be wearing an approved life jacket. All vessels under 39 feet in length must have a horn or whistle to signal intentions and to sound in times of reduced visibility. All vessels in excess of 39 feet in length are required to carry a whistle or horn, and

a bell. In addition to having a horn or a whistle, all vessels must have one bright light, a lantern, or a flashlight visible all around the horizon while not at dock from sunset to sunrise and at times of reduced visibility. This includes personal watercraft, sailboats, rafts, and other man powered vessels. While not a requirement on every boat, having a fire extinguisher on board is highly encouraged. Fire extinguishers are required if any one of the following conditions exist: If there is a closed compartment under seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored, if double bottoms are not sealed to the hull or which are not sealed with floatation material, if there are closed living spaces, if there are closed spaces where combustible or flammable materials may be stored, if fuel tanks are permanently installed, or if there are inboard engines. For any tubers or skiers out

there, any motor boat that is towing a person must have an observer of at least 13 years of age or have a mirror that is four inches from top to bottom and four inches from one side to the other. One of the most popular forms of watercraft at Lake Bridgeport are jet-ski’s, otherwise known as personal watercraft. On PWC’s, all riders/operators must wear a non-inflatable life jacket. No one under the age of 13 is allowed to op-

erate a PWC, unless accompanied on board by a person of at least 18 years of age. If the craft is equipped with a kill switch it must be attached to the operator or their clothing. These watercraft should not be operated within 50 feet of another watercraft, person, platform or shore, except at a slow speed that does not produce a wake. Also, the jumping of other wakes recklessly or unreasonably close to ancontinued on page 49

Lakefoto by Keith Bridwell

Page 18… 2010 Lake Edition

Catfish weighs in at 54 pounds; could be a new record by Staff Now this is a fish! and I am sure that is exactly what Runaway Bay resident Jim Henegar was thinking as he reeled in this “heck of a catch.” Henegar explained that he was just fishing off his dock behind his home when something massive hit his 12-lb. test line attached to his rod and reel. After weighing himself and then adding the fish, the difference between the two was 54 lbs. That’s right, a 54 lb. catfish. At press time, the current record recorded by the Texas

Parks and Wildlife is 45 lbs. When asked about the bait used, he confessed that a fishing acquaintance gave him the winning recipe. Henegar states “it is a mixture of wheaties, oatmeal, strawberry kool-aid, and red soda. This isn’t the complete recipe but when you get it all mixed up, boy does it stink! Henegar also mentioned that it took over an hour to reel this thing in, and suddenly realized, he is probably going to be sore tomorrow.

Now that’s a BIG FISH! Foto contributed

Jim Henegar caught this catfish-beauty, weighing in at approximately 54 lbs. He said it was caught on a rod and reel with 12-lb. test line right from his dock in Runaway Bay. Can somebody say, Hushpuppies? Foto contributed

FACTS about Lake Bridgeport• 3 miles wide • 8 miles long • maximum depth of 85 feet • average depth of 29 feet • 70 miles of shoreline • 12,900 surface acres at conservation pool level • 836 feet above sea level • 851 feet maximum flood elevation • 844.53 feet highest level in May, 1990; second highest level was 839.57 feet in 1989; third highest was 838.84 feet in 1982 • lowest level was 779.8 feet in 1956; second lowest level was 784.0 feet in 1957; third lowest was 787.0 feet in 1954 • 386,539 acre feet water conservation storage • 537,295 acre feet flood storage • 923,814 acre feet total capacity • dam height is 137 feet • dam length is 1,800 feet • spillway maximum release is 47,092 cfs (cubic feet per second) • watershed size is 1,111 square miles • lake elevation raised from 826 feet to 836 feet in 1972.

2010 Lake Edition … Page 19

Wise Eyes Crime Watch program provides neighborhood watch around the lake by Staff For the people who live around the lake, and are concerned about safety in their neighborhoods, there is a program called " Wise Eyes." “When the citizens of Wise County need assistance, they call on the Sheriff’s Office, and when the Sheriff ’s Office needs assistance, we call on the citizens,” said Sheriff David Walker. Wise Eyes is a crime-watch program that began in Wise County in 1993, and was started by former Wise County Sheriff Phil Ryan. The founding sponsor for the program is Devon Energy. Initially, the program began to help law enforcement officers with child abduction cases, and was meant to help get important information out immediately, as the first three hours when a child is missing are the most critical. Since then, the program has expanded a great deal to cover all kinds of information when law enforcement officials need assistance from citizens. Those

situations may include burglaries, thefts, scams, drug investigations, other criminal activity and any other public safety issues. To assist citizens better help law enforcement officers, the Sheriff’s Department provides training to participants on how to start and maintain a crime watch network, how to recognize a drug lab and other narcotics, how to prevent burglaries and have home safety, and how to identify and report suspicious activities, according to the Wise Eyes brochure. When there is a need, law enforcement officers can enlist the help of citizens. Wise Eyes is designed to get the information to the public and those who can assist with passing the information along to others who need to be aware of the situation as soon as possible by using e-mail or fax. That information goes to participants such as neighborhood groups, businesses, and other individuals who are registered with the program. “Wise County is growing at

Lakefoto by J.D. Clark

an astronomical pace, which calls for all of us to band together and fight crime,” said Walker. “With your help, and by joining the Wise Eyes program, you will ensure criminals will not only have to watch out for Sheriff’s depu-

ties, they will also have to watch for every citizen, oil field worker, pilot, utility company, rock truck driver or postal carrier.” Training is available for neighborhood groups and businesses. Anyone wanting to start

a new group, or get involved in an existing group should contact Sergeant Debbie Denney at the Wise County Sheriff’s Department at (940) 627-5971 e-mail the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at

Page 20… 2010 Lake Edition

Buying a used boat has its perks by Paul Barnett The adage that a boat is a hole in the water where people throw their money can be true. However, by following a few tips on buying a boat, people can make sure they stay out of the hole with their new boat. Most of these tips pertain to buying a used boat. However, many of these same tips can be used for buying a brand new boat. Buying a pre-owned boat can save a considerable amount of money as compared to buying a new boat. Many people take heed of this fact; as 60 percent of first-time boat buyers purchase a new boat according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. There are many people who often find themselves at a loss when searching for a boat. The questions of what they are looking for? How will they use it? And how often they’ll use it are just a few of the questions one needs to ask before they consider purchasing a boat. When you’re considering getting a boat, the first thing you have to think about is how

WET & WILD WATER SPORTS If boating is not your idea of an exciting day out on the water, try your hand at any number of other water activities of varying levels of difficulty. Some ideas to choose from include: white water rafting — ride the rapids of a local river; canoeing — paddle your way through a nearby body of water; or parasailing — soar way above the waves.

you will use it? Obviously, you don’t want a drag boat if you’re going to use it as a bass boat or if you’re going to use it for recreation, such as tubing or skiing. Second, are you going to buy a new or used boat? One of the great advantages of buying a used boat is that it is tried and tested. Still, while looking at a used boat there are a num-

ber of things to look out for. While prospecting for a boat, always do a visual inspection of the vessel. If the boat looks horrible, then more than likely it was not maintained properly. It is important to lift any objects on the boat, ropes, flooring materials, or anything else on deck. While some discoloration is common, deep discoloration and/or moss

is a sign that the boat was neglected. Look over the Hull and the Gel-Coat. Any discoloration or chalkiness means that it was not waxed annually or that the hull may have been repaired. Always inquire about the matter of repairs to make sure they were done properly, as you don’t want to be out on the water and have the boat spring

a leak. Make sure all bulk heads are secure. Most of the time, bulk heads are secured with a laminate. Over time the laminate may separate from the hull, this is a serious red flag for boaters looking to buy a boat. While most of the preceding may not have much to do continued on page 36

2010 Lake Edition … Page 21

1 9 4 5 or

1 9 4 6 To the right is a depiction of an actual 1936 flyer of the first fishing tournament on Lake Bridgeport.

SOMETIME IN 1945 OR 46, (a revival was going on; Bro. Jimmy Morgan from For t Worth was evangelist, and Bill Hutcheson was Lake Superintendent) these fisherman were photographed with their catch: BackEarnest Jones, Stanley Caruthers, Homer Green, Otis Meek, Leeland Car thers, and Coleman Meek. Front: John Ferguson, Pastor First Baptist Church, and Wilson Ray. Photo above, John Ferguson. The photos are in a collection assembled by Addie Ruth Green.

FISH TOURNAMENT MAY 1-2-3, 1936 BRIDGEPORT, TEXAS LAKE BRIDGEPORT Largest artificial lake in Texas, completed in 1931 at a cost $2,600,000. Located 4 miles west of Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas, state highways 24 and 114, most direct route from Lubbock to Savannah, Ga., and one of the main feeder roads from our great west and northwest to Dallas and Ft. Worth. Has a drainage area of 1000 square miles, maximum storage capacity of 285 billion gallons or 850,000 acre feet, maximum surface area of 17,000 acres, normal area of 5,800 acres, length of dam 1,850 feet, height of dam 113 feet, shore line 150 miles and depth 90 feet. Fishing has been excellent for the past three years for crappie, bass, cat, drum and perch. Come and spend the entire summer if you wish. You will find good camping sites, good sand beach for bathing and boating. In fact, it is the best place of its kind in Texas to spend a day, week or any length of time for an enjoyable outing. SIZE OF TEXAS LAKES LAKE BRIDGEPORT - - 285 Billion Gallons Eagle Mountain Lake - - 200 Billion Gallons Lake Kemp - - - - 167 Billion Gallons Medina Lake - - - - 100 Billion Gallons Lake Dallas - - - - 64 Billion Gallons Lake Worth - - - - 5 Billion Gallons THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT Population, 2,500; fine schools and churches, good streets, municipal water and sewerage, coal mines, brick plant, dairying and live stock center of county, the county that has more cattle than any other in the state, according to 1933 Government Survey. EVERYBODY IS WELCOME

You are cordially invited to attend Bridgeport’s First Annual Fish Tournament to be held in the waters of Lake Bridgeport. Come on all you nim-rods and show us just what you can do with that old rod. Plenty of competition will be offered Meet Your Fellow Fishermen at LAKE BRIDGEPORT RULES OF CONTEST 1. All entrants must register at any Drug Store, Cafe or Service Station in Bridgeport. 2. Any one can enter. No registration fees. 3. All fish must be caught out of Lake Bridgeport. 4. Decision of Judges to be final. 5. Prizes to be awarded each day of contest at 5 p. m. for the largest bass and crappie, on the streets of Bridgeport. 6. Winner must consent to have photograph taken of catch. 7. Fish to be judged by weight. CITIZENS OF BRIDGEPORT WELCOMES YOU TO THEIR FIRST LAKE BRIDGEPORT

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Lake Bridgeport dining offers spectrum of food choices by Staff Lake Bridgeport has a few restaurants for hungry individuals who would like to grab a bite to eat in between moments of play. The Club at Runaway Bay is definitely a valuable asset to the area and features 20,000 square feet of elegant yet comfortable space. A dining room, lounge, and terrace afford a gorgeous vista, allowing guests’ eyes to roam across the green hills of the golf course to the lake.

Hungry individuals may find an elegant bite to eat any day of the week except Monday. Tuesday through Thursday, doors are open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., with Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday’s business hours at The Club are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday’s hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t try to get off the boat and run into the grill in your swimsuit, though. A dining experience at The Club could

be considered somewhat upscale. The Club at Runaway Bay is a semi-private club. Thus, it is open to the public. Two other dining facilities exist on Lake Bridgeport that someone unfamiliar with the area may not consider. Both facilities can be found inside convenience stores on either side of Highway 380 in Runaway Bay. Whether you want something already prepared , or you want prime cuts of meat to pre-

pare in your own kitchen or in your own back yard, One Stop’s Old Fashioned Meat Market has a variety of selections. It was established in 1970, and not only has bar-b-cue baby back ribs ready for a watering mouth, but also fresh-cut T-bones ready to sizzle on the grill over the mesquite chips. One Stop carries its own spectrum of choices. From a smorgasbord of junk food and alcoholic beverages, to hot-offthe-grill cheeseburgers, and even vegetable seeds for planting in the garden, the store offers diners more than they may have imagined before walking through the doors of the establishment. One Stop even offers the bait to catch your own dinner.

Right across the highway from One Stop of Texas is the Shell, with its deli-mart. The fresh-made sandwiches come plain and dry, and are refrigerated until you choose your flavor. On The Bay Grill, as it’s named, also offers items ranging from egg rolls to Philly Steaks, and of course, hamburgers. Corn dogs, nachos, soft tacos, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, chicken fried steak and chicken strips are all on the menu, too. Food is served in that establishment from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., every day of the week. With all the variety of choices for lunch and dinner, visitors to Lake Bridgeport can decide for themselves what’s for dinner.

Businesses catering to boats on lake

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

Lakefoto by Francine West

by Staff Lake Bridgeport has several unique businesses that serve customers on dry land as well as on water. At least three different businesses on Lake Bridgeport have marinas that offer many services boaters can appreciate on a hot, busy day of fun in the sun. In the Runaway Bay area, One Stop and Shell provide gasoline and a convenience store for refreshing drinks and snacks. One of the special qualities of One Stop is the selection of fresh choice meats available for you to cook, and some come already cooked. Both stores offer deli food and hamburgers and fries cooked to order, and alcoholic beverages are also available. Another marina on the lake is North Side Marina and Resort. It is also a resort where you can rent a cottage or own a new log cabin. Boatslip rentals are available for your boat, like at the other marinas. Also like the others, the marina on the north side of the lake offers a store and fuel for your boat. Customers can also rent pontoon boats, fish, or hire a local fishing guide. These lakeside businesses make it easier for boaters to find much-needed snacks and fuel without straying far from the water.

2010 Lake Edition … Page 23

Adopt-a-Fisherman Day educates children of fishing practices by Paul Barnett The Adopt-a-Fisherman event has been a long standing event of family fun and education of fishing for many area youngsters. Since its inception 19 years ago, Adopt-a-Fisherman has served to educate many of the state’s youths on how to bait hooks, net and land a fish. The event was the vision of a couple of game wardens and serves several purposes. The first purpose is to promote fishing on area lakes. Secondly, the

program matches up young fishermen with experienced “fishing mentors” to teach the children how to set and bait hooks, as well as actually catching fish. Finally, “Adopta-Fisherman” promotes the love of fishing and taking in the beauty of the outdoors as well as getting the community involved with the area’s youth. Usually held on the first weekend of June, the event is staged at Wise County Park and consists of a three hour tournament for three age

groups: ages 6-8, 9-12, and 1315. Mentors that volunteer their time and gear for a day don’t mind, as the event has become a tradition for them and they enjoy sharing their fishing techniques with the kids. While the mentors are there to help guide the fishermen, the only

“hands on” help the mentors can provide is to help net and land the fish as well as help bait hooks. Adopt-a-Fisherman has continued to grow throughout the years at Lake Bridgeport. Last year’s turnout of 273 kids was a record. For those who just wish to

head out “just for fun” and are not into fishing, there are several other attractions at Wise County Park during the event, such as face painters, character drawers and, for those that get hungry, lunch is included. The event is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and by many other local businesses.

Fishing tournaments by Staff For those fishermen that enjoy a little competition, bass fishing tournaments are held at Wise County Park every Thursday from April through October. The tournaments, which are usually called the “Working Man’s Tournaments,” start at 6:00 p.m. and usually last until 8:30 or 9:30 p.m. An average of 18 to 22 boats usually compete in the tournaments. A $25 entry fee is required for each team of two, and the

100% payback for the winner is based on the number of entries received. Competitors in the tournament fish for largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky spotted bass. The teams must abide by all state and local fish laws, including the five fish limit. The atmosphere of the tournament is casual. For example, whoever wins one week is in charge of bringing the scales back to the tournament the next week. Additionally, Lake Bridgeport is a popular destination for many of the DFW fishing clubs. Mark Perry, a veteran tournament fisher, said that the lake is a “hidden gem” for smallmouth bass and also a good location to find hybrid Adopt-a-Fisherman day 2008 stripers.



MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCERS ROBERT MEEK 940-393-2376 Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath


“Finding a way to fulfill the wants, needs and dreams of our clients is what we do Best!!” 940-683-3080 • HWY 380 • BRIDGEPORT 940-627-3080 • 1606 W BUS 380 • DECATUR 817-638-5100 • RHOME

Sue Ann Denton, Inc.

Page 24… 2010 Lake Edition

Sid Richardson Scout Ranch offers wide array of activities for visitors along with lodging by Dorothy Clark, Keith Bridwell and Jennifer Haney As many as 20,000 boy scouts from across the United States and several foreign countries visit the 2,460-acre Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch on Lake Bridgeport during the course of a year. Equipped with scenic cliffs and 19 miles of raw shoreline, the ranch is a rugged backdrop of outdoor activities, in contrast to the ugly scars modern progress can bring. The Ranch is part of the Boys Scouts of America’s Longhorn Council, with approximately 38,000 boy scouts in its registry, which also has camps in Denton, Palo Pinto, Lake Worth, and Waco. Located immediately west of Runaway Bay on land donated in 1968 by Fort Worth oilman Sid Richardson, the Boy Scout Ranch’s scenic bluffs, rolling hills, rugged shorelines, and open forests provide an ideal setting for camping, water sports, and other outdoor activities. The Ranch boasts the presence of longhorn cattle, working oil and gas wells, an 1870’s U.S. Cavalry outpost, and the rumor of buried gold at the Devil’s Den hideout of famous outlaw Sam Bass. A country store, museum, saloon, and post office located on the premises are official Texas landmarks relocated with their original artifacts to their new home on the Boy Scout Ranch. The Ranch offers boy scouts and their leaders sevenday summer sessions from early June through mid-July. Weekend camping is available year-round for boy scouts and

cub scouts. Basic outdoor skills are taught for rank advancement with younger scouts. Merit badge classes for all levels, including Eagle Scouts, as well as lifeguard classes are also available. Boy scouts participate in a wide array of activities at the Ranch, including camping, hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, water skiing, tubing, wind surfing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, wake boarding, fishing, horseshoes, and sand volleyball. Planned activities continue after dinner every night until lights out. A special challenge course, C.O.P.E (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), is designed for boys and girls ages 13 and above and is available for use by scouts, church groups, businesses, and others who want to develop teamwork, self-esteem, trust, decision-making, and leadership skills. An aquatic school for boys over 13 years of age is offered, and advanced water sports are taught at the Steele Island Aquatics Base. Captain Kidd’s Escape, a water amusement facility, features a water trampoline, water slide, canoe jousting, rope swings, and other activities. Older boys can take day trips to Fort Richardson Outpost, where they can fire a standard issue, authentic cavalry cannon and participate in reenactment skirmishes. Overnight stays in a teepee village, including learning about Indian hunting weapons around a

council fire, are featured at Comanche Village. Orienteering groups use the Ranch for team competitions. Orienteering involves people finding their way with maps and compasses in wilderness settings. Periodically, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and approximately 50 troopers from across the state come to Lakeview Lodge, a

Ranch facility, for water rescue training. Lakeview Lodge has cottages and dormitories available for rent by the public for meetings, conferences, family reunions, and other gatherings. The new manager of the lodge, Valerie Cantero, said she didn’t know how great the place was to visit. She said she didn’t even know the place

existed, and all three of her boys are Boy Scouts. Cantero pointed out the Scout Ranch is not just for Scouts. Many people from the community have visited the ranch just to get away from their families for a night, and others have used the place to spend a family-building weekend. She said it’s one of Wise County’s best kept secrets.

This pavilion is one of the little extras that can add to visitors’ experiences at the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch. Surrounded by woods of natural Texas timber on three sides, and beautiful Lake Bridgeport on the other, the structure offers a place for campers to find a moment of solitude or a special gathering place. -Lakefoto

“Today is your reward for being safe yesterday.”

856 FM 2952 • Chico • 940-644-2759 Lakefoto

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 25

Construction of Lake Bridgeport Dam Seen here are the reproductions of two of six photographs that currently hang in the office of Lake Superintendent Richard Ellis. The photographs depict the construction of the Lake Bridgeport dam and were originally taken by the Freese and Nichols Engineering Firm. The Fort Worthbased company was hired by the Tarrant Regional Water District to construct the dam, and Ellis says that the 1920 blueprints of the dam were also done by the Freese and Nichols firm.

Reproduction of photographs taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

Page 26‌ 2010 Lake Edition

2010 Fishing Licenses and Fees by Paul Barnett Outside of Free Fishing Day on the first Saturday of June, a license is required to fish public waters in the state of Texas that are not completely enclosed by state parks. A license is also not required when fishing from the shores of a state park. However, all other fishing regulations, such as bag limits and length, remain in effect. Any angler who fishes off of the coast must have a fishing license with a saltwater endorsement to bring in fish. For freshwater anglers, only a fishing license is required. Fishing licenses may be purchased locally from One Stop of Texas, Bayview Center in Runaway Bay or in Decatur at either Wal-Mart or 2K Pawn and Gun. Licenses may also be purchased online with a $5 service fee. There are two main types of fishing licenses in the state

of Texas: Residential and Nonresidential. A resident of Texas may choose from a variety of fishing licenses: *Freshwater Package at $30 *Saltwater Package at $35 *All Water Package at $40 Seniors who are 65 years of age and born AFTER August 31, 1930 can get the packages at reduced prices: *Freshwater $12 *Saltwater $17 *All Water $22 For residents of Texas, there is also the option of buying a lifetime fishing license for $1000, a Year-From-Purchase license for $47, and a one day all water license for $11.

waters. However, all other nonresidents must have a license. The fees for non-resident licenses are as follows: *Freshwater $58 *Saltwater $63 *All water $68 *One day $15

Anyone who owns a freshwater license can get a saltwater endorsement and viceversa. All license fees help pay for programs such as fishery and hatchery management, habitat management and protection, fishing and conservation education, endangered species programs, lake maps and other publications, just to name a Non-residents that are under few. the age of 17, Louisiana residents 65 years or older with a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License, or residents of Oklahoma 64 years of age or older are not required to have a license to fish Texas public

Lakefoto by Francine West

Let us show you why we love Lake Bridgeport. Our family has been enjoying the lake for over 45 years. We spend a lot of time on the water and at our lake house with family and friends. With our combined years of experience in real estate and our first hand knowledge of the lake, we can assist sellers in marketing their property to its fullest potential and make sure buyers find their perfect lake home. We want to be your personal guide and realtor for Lake Bridgeport.

2010 Lake Edition … Page 27

Surveyor’s journals from the 1930s and ‘40s provide interesting glimspe into the past of Lake Bridgeport continued from page 12 rattlers. On this same day, Funk included a diagram where he marked where he found a a dead doe and fawn in Beans Creek. On September 10, 1951, Funk wrote a long passage concerning the sighting of approximately 15 wild turkeys near the Green Elm crossing on the west fork of the Trinity River. He then wrote, “Have seen many wild deer and turkey in and near this area this summer.” Obviously, the frequent sightings of these animals must have been unusual or Funk would not have made such a detailed note in his jounal. In this same entry, Funk wrote that “skunks are often seen and at times have to be driven away from work area.” He also mentioned killing seven rattlesnakes (with “some near bites”) and noted seeing

several large wild cat carcasses on fences. Funk became the subject of his own notes when on August 1, 1946, he recorded that he did not work because he attended a funeral in Dallas. On August 12 of that year, he missed another day of work because of a case of poison oak. A dust storm on November 5, 1948, forced Funk and his crew to stop working. Funk noted the wind was so strong it could blow the transit over; a transit is the instrument on a tripod used to measure angles. Funk also kept excellent notes on his various financial affairs. In 1949, Funk noted that untrained helpers were paid at a rate of $0.75 an hour, while trained helpers were paid $1.02 an hour. For surveying 4641 feet of line, Funk recorded that the

total cost of the survey “including surveyor, car, etc.” was $198.68. His cost for a survey was $0.05 per mile. Today, the cost is 44.5 cents per mile. On June 27, 1946, Funk noted that he purchased three meals for $1.35, a seemingly unbelievable figure compared to today’s restaurant costs. On June 28, 1946, Funk recorded that he spent $0.50 sharpening his brush hook and

later spent $0.23 on a phone call. On multiple occasions, Funk noted the water level of Lake Bridgeport. For example, on September 13, 1943, he recorded that the “top of the water” was at 810.75 feet. On April 12, 1944, he wrote that he measured the lake level on the gauges at the dam, which indicated the elevation

to be 809.6 feet at 8:45 a.m. He also noted that the water was calm. Many of these notes may sound trivial, but obviously Funk found them important enough to be recorded in his professional notebooks. Today, they provide an interesting glimpse of what life was like for a surveyor in the lake area more than 50 years ago.

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

Page 28… 2010 Lake Edition

“Off 380 Players” offer theatrical adventures by Joann Pritchard “Is that a band, or what?” The Off 380 Players are celebrating their 10th season of theatrical performances, hearing less and less often such questions as the above as more and more people become aware of their productions. After knocking about from venue to venue since presenting “Everybody Loves Opal” at the Runaway Bay Community Church, the community theatre group is now at home at the Bridgeport Stage. Renovation of Bridgeport’s old Arcadia Theater is a story in itself; just say that now, the Players and their audience can enjoy their surroundings as well as their shows. Of course, ambition has not faltered. The Players welcome participation by anyone interested in any aspect of theatre, onstage or off. Call 575-4548. Experience within the group varies from professional to strictly amateur. Stan Baker of Chico, past president, promised to find a job (non-paid, that is) for anyone interested in participating. Charlotte Keefe, founding past president of the group, has listed talents and skills pertaining to production. A Play Selection Committee "reads lots and lots and lots of plays," then recommends five plays for consideration by the board of directors, who pick three plays for production. A Director plans staging, auditions, actors, and then, of course, directs. The director works with the crew (the Off 380 Roadies) who build the sets, find the props, etc. People with carpenter skills are welcomed when it comes time to build sets. "Most of the time the set needs to be painted," Ms Keefe said. "If you can make big strokes with a paintbrush, we can use you." The Props Manager enlists friends to find the props, stage furniture, and anything needed to "dress" the stage. Costumes have to be found or made, and during performances, help is needed with the actors' makeup. Once the set is constructed

and the actors know where they are supposed to be at all times, the Light and Sound Crew starts to work. During performances the crew has to watch and listen closely and be ready to bring lights up and down and execute sound effects at the exact moment they are needed. The crew has to be prepared to improvise in case an actor forgets a line or changes the script. A Backstage Crew moves furniture and props between scenes; pulls curtains, helps actors with costumes, etc. The Front of the House takes care of the audience, selling tickets and handing out programs. Volunteers serve refreshments during intermission. After the final performance, it's time to strike the set. Everything is taken down, put away and the stage is cleaned. "The imaginary world that took

six weeks to create vanishes within a few hours," Keefe said. "Live theatre must have actors, but as you can tell, it must have the help, talent, skill, and willingness of many, many people." Stan Baker lists facts debunking myths concerning the troupe. It is a myth, he notes, that "only individuals who can act are involved in Off 380." Acting ability is not necessary nor required. The myth that only creative people join theatre groups requires definition: Baker says that "Everyone is creative -community theatre helps people find their creative niche." As for theatre requiring too much time, Baker stresses that "We want you to be involved as much as you have time for - a tiny bit or a whole lot!" Only

outgoing, gregarious people get involved in the theatre? Not so, Baker says. "People with every type of personality are involved. We love diversity." Myth: You have to know something about the theatre to get involved. Fact: "Wrong -you can learn along with the rest of us!" Off 380 Players board members are Geoff Sherman, president; Ray Cornelison, Jr., secretary; Judi Conger, treasurer; Justin Prestidge, past president; and vice presidents Russell Blanton, production; Darla St. John, house management; Ted Konetski, development; Sheril Rodgers, programming; Char Setters, community relations; and Trish Bridwell, publicity and promotion. For information on upcoming productions, see

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 29

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Public Boat Ramps 1. Wise County Park 2. Dam Site (F.M. 1658) 3. U.S. 380 Bridge 4. Runaway Bay Marina 5. One Stop of Texas 6. Jack County Recreation Area Lakeside Developments 7. Sunset Bay 8. Lakevue Estates 9. Liles 10. Sunset Shores 11. Aston 12. Twin Hills 13. Wizzard Bay Estates 14. East Bay Estates 15. Lake House Estates 16. Bay Landing 17. Cimmaron Bay Estates 18. Hideaway Bay 19. Cozy Cove 20. El Lago 21. Blocker’s Slough 22. Jackson Ranch 23. Wilderness Lakes

Area Landmarks 24. Bridgeport Camp and Conference Center 25. Twin Hills Store 26. Bayview Center 27. Harbor Inn Resort and Restaurant 28. The Club at Runaway Bay 29. B & M Marina

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 31

Page 32… 2010 Lake Edition

And now, a stringer full of raw facts Think you know everything there is to know about Lake Bridgeport? Well, here are some well known, and not so well known, facts about Wise County’s most popular destination. According to the Tarrant Regional Water District, Lake Bridgeport is twenty miles long, with 170 miles of shoreline surrounding the lake. The

Rattlesnake Island and Stripling Island linked by a causeway to the mainland. According to Richard Ellis of the Tarrant Regional Water District, you can still find rattlesnakes on Rattlesnake Island, hence the name. “It’s my assumption that they have been there awhile,” he said wryly. Over the years, Lake Bridgeport has become one of

The maximum depth of the lake is 85 feet and can be found at the north end of the dam. The lake and surrounding lands are teeming with wildlife other than fish. The skies are heavy with ducks of various varieties, geese, pelicans, water turkeys, and, on occasion, a bald eagle. Wild turkeys have made a strong comeback in the area during the last decade as have many animals that had dwindled in numbers over the years. Raccoons and beaver, in

particular, heavily populate the area surrounding Lake Bridgeport. Whitetail deer, coyotes, and bobcats are some of the other animals a lucky boater or camper may have the chance to see. If you are thinking about a camping trip to the lake, Wise County park is the place to go. The only campsite open to the public, it has 19 RV hookups with both 30 and 50 amps. For more information on Wise County Park, you may contact

Keith Jones at 940/644-1910. If you plan to boat and fish while at the lake, there are 8 marinas open to the public that are situated at various sites around the lake. So you now have a rundown on the cold hard facts of Lake Bridgeport. However, if you require more information, you may look it up on the Tarrant Regional Water District website at http://www.trwd. com.

Four easy steps to filleting fish There is more than one way to fillet a fish. Just ask any three fishermen!

1. Grip the head of the fish firmly and cut down to the spine-but not through it.

2. Guiding your knife parallel to the side of the fish, cut along the spine to the tail. Without cutting the side slab from the tail, flop the slap away from the head, as shown.

3. To remove the rib section, insert the blade close to the rib bones, then slice away that entire section. Do this before removing the skin.

4. Remove the skin from the fillet by inserting your knife at the tail and cutting the meat from the skin. Start your cut about 1/2 inch from the tail end of the skin. Turn the fish over and repeat the same procedure.


surface area, in acres, of the reservoir is 12,900, covering land in both Wise and Jack Counties. Green Elm bridge in Jack County marks the western boundary of the lake. Nine tributaries - Coal Bed Creek, Willow Creek, Boon’s Creek, Hunt Creek, Jasper Creek, Bean’s Creek, West Fork Trinity River, Big Creek, and Venchoner Creek, feed into the reservoir. The large amount of creeks and rivers in the area was one of the reasons why the area was chosen for the flood control dam. There are also nine islands in Lake Bridgeport, with

the finest fishing lakes in North Texas. The lake is frequently stocked by the Tarrant Regional Water District with Florida Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, and Channel Catfish, Crappie, Yellow Catfish, Small Mouth Bass, Sand Bass, Carp, Drum and Perch are also plentiful in the lake and do not require stocking. One of the reasons for excellent fishing on the lake is the mild climate and temperatures of the water. The average temperature of the water during the winter is a relatively mild 40 degrees while 80 degrees is the average summer temperature.

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

2010 Lake Edition … Page 33

Five churches grace the shores of Lake Bridgeport People living near the lake do not have to look far to find a church. Five churches in the lake area are readily available. Lake Bridgeport Baptist Church Lake Bridgeport Baptist Church is located at 1301 North Main Street in the City of Lake Bridgeport and is the oldest place of worship in the lake area. The church is led by Pastor Craig Rolin. Sunday School begins at 9:45 a.m., and Sunday morning worship services are held at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday services are held at 7:00 p.m. For more information on the church and its activities, call (940) 683-5787. ~ Whitestone Fellowship Whitestone Fellowship, also known as the First Baptist Church of Runaway Bay, is led by Dr. Gary Miller and was established in 1995. Worship services are held on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Worship care is also available for children in the church’s center at 513 Port-O-Call Drive. ~ Runaway Bay Community Church Runaway Bay Community Church is an interdenominational church located at 20 Runaway Bay Drive. Craig Wills is the pastor of the church, which was founded in 1972. On Sundays, adult Bible study begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by a worship service at 9:30 a.m. A children’s service is held during the worship sevice. For more information on any of the church’s activities, call (940) 575-2512. ~ Bay Chapel Bay Chapel is located at 2337 W. Highway 380, right beside Bay Landing. Joe Newton serves as the pastor of the interdenominational church. Bible study starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by a worship service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday evening services begin at 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday prayer services are held at 6:30 p.m. To contact Bay Chapel, call (940) 683-3844. ~ Lake Bridgeport Community Church Lake Bridgeport Community Church is located at 1007 S. Main Street in the City of Lake Bridgeport. Reverend Charles Blackman leads the nondenominational church. Sunday Services are held at 10:30 a.m.


Lakefoto by Francine West

Page 34… 2010 Lake Edition

Deep roots flourish at the old Mitchum/ Marlett place by Staff Flashing lights and booming sounds of explosions are not things that are expected now at Lake Bridgeport, except on July 4, when Runaway Bay hosts the fireworks display. However, it was an event that happened regularly during World War II, according to Dr. Robert Marlett, who, along with his wife, Carolyn, currently lives at the lake. Marlett has deep roots and historical memories as the land he currently occupies is property that has passed from generation to generation in his family. It was originally owned by his great-grandfather, J.W. Mitchum. The land has been in his family’s possession since before the lake was even built. Marlett is the fourth generation to own the land since the late 1800s. Marlett said that when the lake was being built, his grandfather Marlett stabled mules on his other grandfather Mitchum’s place. The mules were used to facilitate the construction of the lake dam. He said the construction of the lake helped many people during the depression era whether it was laying rip-rap on the dam or cutting trees in the bottoms. “A lot of people were glad to have the work during the depression period,” said Marlett. Back then, the place was called “the old Mitchum place.” Marlett said there is a slough misspelled as Meechum Slough, but it actually should read Mitchum Slough. It was named Mitchum for Troy Mitchum Jr. who was a graduate of Bridgeport High School and was in the 71st infantry division in Germany and was killed in Germany in April 1945. Another confusion along the way, according to Marlett was the name of the school that used to sit on the old Mitchum

place. He said there was a church named the Mount Horum Church, to the north of the Mitchum place. The school picked up the name Mount Horum School; however, the name was really the Lyle School, according to the Lyle sisters, who lived in the area for a very long time. Marlett said there is one of the Lyle sisters who is 103 years old, now living in Salado, who remembers that the school was called the Lyle School, possibly because so many Lyles went to school there. Life came and went as usual on the lake until World War II came around, and military activity moved into the area, temporarily using the body of water as a practice area for landing maneuvers, drills, and other military actions. “They carried wooden rifles,” said Marlett. They dug fox holes where Marlett’s house is now. Marlett said he could remember how the military would circle out in the lake in landing craft, like the kind that landed in Normandy, and then land on the shores. Once landed, the men would come stampeding out of

the boats and onto the land. They made a large stone bullseye target, on the hill where the Methodist Camp is now, and used if for bombing practice. It was an amazing sight to see when he was a young boy, said Marlett. He said during the time of the war, his grandfather was a guard at the marine landing craft base stationed on the lake. One day his grandfather dropped his gun on the con-

crete floor, causing it to fire, and shooting him in the shoulder. Six or seven days later, his grandfather Mitchum died. Marlett said he can remember visiting his grandparent’s place every summer. Even though he never lived in Wise County, except when he was an infant and lived in Chico, he decided he wanted to retire on the old homestead. He designed and built a home, much like the original

two-story home that first sat on the Mitchum Place. Now he and Carolyn invite their grandchildren to make their own memories of Lake Bridgeport. Since the first house was built, some of the land has gone into other hands, but the place where Robert and Carolyn’s home sits is just as deeply rooted into his being as his historical memories of the place.

Photo courtesy of Robert Marlett

2010 Lake Edition … Page 35

Bridgeport Conference Center ideal for multiple events by J.D. Clark The Bridgeport Conference Center (BCC) on FM 2952 occupies a prime spot on Lake Bridgeport. The conference center is part of the camping and retreat ministry of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. The camp was developed when the North Texas Annual Methodist Conference accepted a gift of 142 acres of land from the citizens of Bridgeport in 1947. After that, a massive capital funds campaign began, and monetary gifts flowed in from across North Texas, ultimately resulting in the BCC. The camp officially opened on August 16, 1949, with 128 intermediates and adult counselors in attendance. Caleb Burk, who began working at the camp in February 2007, is the director of guest services. Trueman Hoffmeister, the executive director of the camp, just joined the team in November of 2008. He has 18 years experience working with camps and conferences for the YMCA, and is excited to make the transition to BCCC. He moved from North Carolina where he managed an 2,160 acre YMCA camp that he helped develop and build from the ground up.

During its peak season, the camp employs approximately 35 people. Each decade has seen improvements, growth, and renovation at the camp. Notable improvements in recent years include the new water mains, a new swimming pool, a massive ropes course, and the Lakeside Lodges, which expanded the camp’s bed space by approximately 50 places. There are several impressive buildings available for use at the BCC. The Kiker Building, complete with cooking, dining, and conference facilities, was once the main building in the camp until Martin Hall was built in 1964. Martin Hall is a large building that can seat 250 for meals and other large group meetings. Its large rear windows look out over a large wooden cross and outdoor amphitheater, with a lake background. Folsom Center is located at the edge of the lake and provides wide, beautiful views of Lake Bridgeport. The center contains a fireplace pit, a balcony, a downstairs seating area, and kitchen facilities. It is considered to be an ideal spot for meetings and retreats. Additionally, the pool facility is located next to Folsom. There are 270 overnight

spaces available at the camp. The cabins available at the camp are Lakeside Lodges, Hilltop Doubles, and Hilltop Dorms. Up to five different groups can be accomodated at one time, and food service is available to those using the camp.

A variety of camp sessions usually entertain over 2,000 children and young adults each summer. Between May 27 and August 16, college camps, SEEK camps, music and arts caps, childrens’ camps, junior high camps, and senior high camps will be held.

The facilities can also be rented by members of the community for parties and “all types of events.” For more information at the BCC or to rent spaces, contact Burk at 940-683-2555. The center also is online at

Chico High School graduates Steven Gassiot (left) and Jordan Karch face the chalLakefoto by J.D. Clark lenges that the BCC’s ropes course poses.




The entrance to the Bridgeport Conference Center (BCC) is located on FM 2952, alongside Lake Bridgeport. It is a popular site for church retreats as well as meetings and other gatherings. Lakefoto by J.D. Clark




(940)683-2555 Fax (940)683-3085

P.O. BOX 215, 3280 FM 2952 BRIDGEPORT, TX 76426

Page 36… 2010 Lake Edition

Buying a used boat has its perks Freeze plugs should be brass and not steel. Any steel plugs will have to be replaced. Check the steering cables by giving them a small tug. If they are loose they will need attention. Make sure the boat is winterized. If the boat is not winterized, it will have to have a tune up. For boats, this could add an additional $700-1000. One of the more important things to check on a boat is the bilge pump. The bilge pump removes water from the hull. Finally, take a test drive with the owner of the boat before you buy it. Getting a feel of the boat can be a deciding factor in whether or not you want to buy the boat or keep looking for a better deal.

Fishing on Lake Bridgeport People may fish anywhere on Lake Bridgeport except the upstream portion of the dam, near the spillway. The lake has several kinds of fish, including bass, crappie, channel cat, perch, and others. The Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife often restock the fishing supply. A fishing license is required for people 17 or older. Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath


GRILL & CHILL with us at the

Bridgeport DAIRY QUEEN! Bus. 380

Hwy. 101/114


Halsell St.


DQ! U.S. Hwy. 380

continued from page 20 with performance, many boaters take pride in how their boat looks. While many of us don’t have a basement, you don’t want to be Gibbs on NCIS constantly sanding and painting your new boat. There are things with a boat that you can’t see with the naked eye. Mechanically take a closer look at it. Check the oil and batteries. The batteries should be check every time the boat is taken out. The oil can tell you how hard the boat has been run or if the engine has been well maintained. Take a look at the engine to see if there is dirt or grime near gaskets and seals. This is important as this can cause significant leaks.

Open for your convenience 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., 7 Days-a-Week!



1508 Halsell • Phone 940/683-2260

2010 Lake Edition … Page 37

Richard Ellis, superintendent and overseer of the TRWD office at Lake Bridgeport put it into perspective,” Ellis said–is 325,851 gallons of water. “Every year the amount of water sent to Fort Worth varies contingently upon demand,” he said. In 2005, the district used all 100 percent of their allotment, but usually each year, only 60 to 80 percent is used. The reason the entire amount was dispersed was due to the previous year’s extended

drought and growth in the local area. According to Ellis, the district also has several utility contracts with Wise County Power as well as with area sand and gravel companies including TXI, Hanson and Trinity at Big Sandy. For a few years, the Wise County area has been under a drought and because of the lack of rain, in March of 2006, the lake levels were down by 11

1/2 feet. In March of 2007, the lake levels were down by 17.5 feet. “You just need to remember to use caution,” he warned. The TRWD also sponsors an annual clean-up day at the lake. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 12. For more information, contact the district’s Lake Bridgeport office at 940/683-2349.

Richard Ellis by Staff The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), whose main purpose is to monitor water supply and flood control, has four area reservoirs that it monitors closely, with Lake Bridgeport being its third largest. Stretching across ten North Texas counties, the reservoirs in its area also include Richland Chambers, Cedar Creek and Eagle Mountain. Formed in 1924, the TRWD serves more than 30 customers across Metroplex, including the Fort Worth and Arlington areas and the Trinity River Authority of Texas. The district also maintains the 27 mile Fort Worth Floodway and makes water quality its top priority. Richard Ellis has served as the superintendent and overseer of the TRWD branch at Lake Bridgeport since 1995. “I just manage the reservoir basically–operate and maintain,” he said. Growing up in the Reno/ Azle area, he joined the TRWD staff nearly 37 years ago when he needed a place to work. Starting at the bottom as a maintenance worker, he has worked hard to get to the position he holds now. “It was a place to work. I didn’t necessarily go to school for this; I just worked my way up,” he said. The district employs two

full-time employees at each reservoir to monitor the area all the time. Ellis lives across the street from the district’s office and considers the interaction between local homeowners to be a benefit in his position. “The best part of my job is coming in contact with shoreline residents,” he said. Pictured above are Angela, Doris, and Robert Lee Ware III, taking a stroll under the Lake Bridgeport covers 170 Runaway Bay Bridge in the early 1980’s during a major drought. miles of shoreline and houses Photo contributed by Doris Ware five marinas. Area communities served include Bridgeport, Runaway Bay, Chico, Decatur, and the town of Lake Bridgeport. Residents throughout the county enjoy utilizing the lake for recreational activities. The cities of Decatur, Bridgeport, Runaway Bay, along with the West Wise Water Co-op and Walnut Creek– serving Springtown and areas in between, are the five major municipal customers of the lake. Engineers in Fort Worth manage and maintain the waConveniently serving the Lake Bridgeport area from our ter levels of the lake. When the Bridgeport office flood water is released, it is dispersed to Eagle Mountain 1709 9th St. • Suite 101 • Bridgeport • 940-683-3581 Lake by way of the West Fork of the Trinity River. or from our From there, floodwater runs into Lake Worth, which is Decatur office at owned by the city of Fort 405 Park West Court • Decatur • 940-627-3581 Worth and is also utilized by the area for drinking water. Each calendar year, the district can send approximately For more information visit 78,000 acre feet of water to Fort Worth. One acre foot–‘to

The “Wise” Choice


Page 38… 2010 Lake Edition

ShareLunker Program. . . continued from page 14 Wildlife Department employees of any liability resulting from the loss or death of the fish. At the end of spawning season, the ShareLunker will be returned to the angler for live release, or the angler may donate it permanently to the program. Either way, the angler receives a fiberglass replica of the catch made by Lake Fork Taxidermy, ShareLunker clothing, and recognition at an annual awards banquet held at TFFC. In addition, the Texas resident catching the largest entry of the season is awarded a lifetime fishing license. Tips for proper care and handling of Lunker Bass 1.) Land the fish as quickly as possible. Playing a fish to exhaustion diminishes its chances of survival. 2.) If possible, refrain from using a dip net that has a mesh larger than an inch and/or is not a smooth mesh. When using a net, always make sure it is wet before it touches the fish. 3.) Avoid excessive handling or dropping of the fish while removing the hook. The fish will benefit from remaining in water (boat livewell or a large cooler filled with water) while the hook is removed with needlenosed pliers. Hold the fish vertically by the lower lip while it is in the water so that the total weight of the fish doesn’t rest on the lower jaw. 4.) Take the fish to a marina or closest certified scales as soon as possible. Transport the fish in a properly aerated livewell or a large cooler equipped with an aerator. 5.) Before removing the fish from the transport container, have the certified scales ready for weighing. Try to arrange to hold the fish in the mariina’s minnow vat after it is weighed. 6.) To reduce stress when removing the fish from the transport container for weighing, move the fish as close as possible to the scales and holding vat before removal. If ev-

erything is ready before the fish is removed from the transport container, weighing time can be less than one minute. 7.) It is best to sedate the fish in the transport container before weighing or taking pictures. Marinas and bait shops can supply the recommended chemicals. Wet your hands before handling the fish. Lift the fish from the water vertically by clamping your thumb on the bottom lip. To raise the fish into a horizontal position, support the fish’s weight by placing your off-hand under the fish just behind the anal fin. This method should be used if the fish is not sedated. Don’t roll back the lip in an effort to paralyze the fish. This can damage the lower jaw and hinder or prevent the fish from feeding after being released. The fish should not be out of the water longer than 30 seconds. Persons taking pictures should have their cameras ready before the fish is removed from the holding container. Holding the fish out of the water two to three minutes, or holding it in a plastic bag without proper aeration, causes stress that can damage the eyes or cause a bacterial and/or fungal infection. Such damage could cause mortality even several weeks later. Note that stress is increased by extremes in temperatures and/or windy weather conditions. 8.) Ideal water temperature for holding fish is 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water temperature should not be changed more than five or six degrees per hour. If water is aerated and treated with bacterial/fungal retardant, low water temperature may not be crucial. 9.) Call Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as soon as possible with your name, where the fish is located, a telephone number where you can be reached and when and where you caught the fish. Be sure to include your area code when leaving a message on the pager. Every attempt will be made to collect the fish within

12 hours, sooner if possible. 10.) To request pickup of a ShareLunker (largemouth bass 13 pounds or over, legally caught in Texas waters between October 1 and April 30), call (903)681-0550 or page (888)784-0600 and leave a number, including area code. Every effort is made to retrieve a big bass within 12 hours of being caught. However, Texas is a large state and occasionally there is more than 1 Lunker waiting to be picked up. To keep those big bass healthy, TPWD is working with local fishing businesses and tackle shops to provide temporary holding stations for anglers who wish to donate fish to the program. A list of holding stations is provided below. Stations are needed at other lakes. Any business interested in becoming an official ShareLunker Weigh and Holding Station should contact David Campbell at (903)670-2230. - Falcon Lake Robert’s Fish n’ Tackle,

2425 S. US 83, Zapata, Texas (956)236-6015. Falcon State Park, Falcon Heights, Texas , (956)8443426. - Lake Amistad Angler’s Lodge, 8969 W.

US 90, Del Rio, Texas (830)719-9907. - Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jackson Hill Park Marina, 1705 FM 2851, Broaddus, Texas, 75929, (936)872-9266.

Fishing on Lake Bridgeport People may fish anywhere on Lake Bridgeport except the upstream portion of the dam, near the spillway. The lake has several kinds of fish, including bass, crappie, channel cat, perch and others. The Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife often restock the fishing supply. A fishing license is required for people 17 or older.

We care about you and making your dreams come true! We Care... We’re Professional & Personable

Tana 940-627-5859

2010 Lake Edition … Page 39

Building of Lake Bridgeport brought needed jobs to area continued from page 7 District. It and Eagle Mountain Lake form the West Fork part of the water district . The water from these lakes, flowing through Lake Worth, supplied all the raw water needed by the District until the 1970s. In the 1950’s record drought and a growing Tarrant County population led the District to look for more water sources. They received permits in 1957 for two more reservoirs, which initiated the Cedar Creek Lake and Richland-Chambers Reservoir. Cedar Creek Lake construction began in 1960 and began water delivery to the Metroplex through a 72-inch pipeline in 1973. The Richland-Chambers

Reservoir project began in 1979, was finished in 1988 and is the third largest to lie totally within Texas. Its shoreline covers approximately 400 miles and its surface covers 45,000 acres. It delivers up to 180 million gallons per day to the district. Lake Arlington was built and is owned and operated by that city. The District supplies its water from Cedar Creek Lake. Lake Worth, constructed from 1911-1914, is owned and operated by the City of Fort Worth. Its water comes from Runaway Bay bridge in the early 1980’s during a major drought. Photo contributed by Doris Ware release at Eagle Mountain. Marine Creek Lake, on Fort Worth’s north side, was constructed and is owned by the District.

The First National Bank of Runaway Bay would like to say “welcome” to those of you who are just now becoming a part of this growing community. Whether you are a newcomer or longtime resident of Runaway Bay or the surrounding area, we hope that you will let us help you with all of your banking needs.

1055 Hwy 380 West • Runaway Bay • 940-575-2100 • Telebank • 374-3522

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The flood that caused lake’s creation.... continued from page 5 dam. He immediately began trying to interest the Fort Worth organization (then an unincorporated association) in building a dam on the West Fork of the Trinity River, four miles west of Bridgeport. In the spring of 1925, Mr. Lillard and Mr. Munn succeeded in getting a party to come to Bridgeport for inspection of the dam site. The party consisted of Mr. Ireland Hampton, attorney, John B. Hawley, engineer, W. E. Bideker, Director of the Water Improvement District (which succeeded the association that originated the project), John A. Norris, Chairman of the State Board of Water Engineers, Mr. Lillard and Mr. Munn. The State Board of Water Engineers, through inspection

made by Mr. Norris, requested borings at the dam site to test foundation conditions. After preliminary surveys and geological tests, the State Board of Water Engineers recommended the building of the Bridgeport dam. On July 29, 1927, plans were adopted for flood control, which included Eagle Mountain Dam and Bridgeport Dam. On October 7, 1927, the question was submitted and approved by voters as to issuing bonds to provide money to construct the two dams. The contract for construction was awarded to the Trinity Farm Construction Company, the McKenzie Construction Company, and the Uvalde Construction Company on January 23, 1930. The Bridgeport Dam was completed in

September 1931 and accepted on December 15, 1931. The dam, 1850 feet in length and 110 feet in height, creates a lake with a maximum capacity of 285 billion gallons

or 870,000 acre feet. The maximum surface area is 17,000 acres. The water surface at spillway level is approximately 12,000 acres. The total cost of the Bridgeport project was $2.6

million dollars. *Eugene Munn was the grandfather of Bridgeport resident Bill, Donna, and Jerry Munn.

The core trench, where rock was excavated for the dam, was allowed to be placed on each slope and “puddled in with soil.” Photo by C.L. McNair

According to the information written on the back of the original photograph, “a man was killed on this part of the job. The shovel operator backed the machine- the Caterpillar tracks catching the man’s feet. The victim was sitting beside the machine with feet behind him. The accident happened a few minutes before midnight.” Photo by C. L. McNair

2010 Lake Edition … Page 41

Tips for recreational boating and safety It’s that time of year again the end of school, warmer weather and “fishing fever.” It’s the time when everyone pulls their boats out of drydock and head for the lakes. With that in mind, we’d like to remind our citizens about simple safety tips during water sport activities. Tragically, as more boats take to the water, our drowning statistics rise. No matter how much experience you have boating, please take a few minutes to read this. These precautions and preventative measures may reduce risks and may save your life. People who hunt and fish from a boat have one of the highest boat fatality rates. More people die from falling off or out of boats 16 feet and smaller and ironically, most of the boats are anchored at the time. Be weather wise. Sudden wind shifts, lightning and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Don’t be caught on the water in a storm. Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone. Check your boat, equipment, engine and fuel before heading out on the water. Keep your fishing gear clean and well packed. Loose fishhooks can cause a lot of pain and ruin your trip. In fact, all items should be put away securely. Remember, when you over load, you are asking for trouble. Capsizing and falls over board account for 70 percent of boating fatalities. When you change seats on a boat, stay low and near center line. Simple, but extremely important. Alcohol and Boating Simply put, alcohol and boating do not mix. Over 1,000 people die in boating accidents every year, and nine out of 10 drowned. About half of those deaths involved alcohol. It is no joke but 50 percent of the intoxicated men that drowned had their fly unzipped. It is proved that four hours in a boat with exposure to noise, vibration, sun glare,

wind and motion produces a kind of “boater’s hypnosis.” Adding alcohol only intensifies this, slowing reaction times. Sometimes, even a few beers are too many. If you have been consuming too much alcohol and fall overboard, you may be confused and swim down instead of up. Life Jackets Get and wear approved personal flotation devices that fit well. Make sure that anyone in your boat has one, most especially for children. There are different type vests and you should be aware of their differences. Type 1 floats the best, but are bulky. However, it will turn most unconscious people face up in water. Type 1 is best for open, rough or remote water. Type II is yoke type and less bulky. However, it will not turn some unconscious people face up in water. Type III is a vest style. This type is popular among recreational boaters, but it’s only designed for calm water and a quick rescue. Wearers may have to tilt their heads back to avoid a facedown position. Throwable devices are considered Type IV, such as life rings and floating cushions. This type requires you to “hang-on”. Lastly, Type V are special use devices and are specifically for white water rafting and those types of activities. These types are inflatable. Know what type you need and use it. What should be on your boat? Life jackets, Fire Extinquisher, whistle, bell or horn. Visual distress signals such as orange flags or flares. Even a mirror is helpful in daylight. Flashlights, heavy line for pulling. First-aid kit. Tool kit. Sunglasses and sunburn lotion. Paddles are recommended also. Extra clothing in case the weather turns cooler or you do fall overboard. Food and water is always a good idea to take along.. You may also want to keep a VHF radio. Spare fuel. Note,

Human contamination or though, that spare fuel containers should not be filled while waste can stimulate algae growth and deplete oxygen in inside your boat. the water. It can be a significant source of life threatening Get Educated You are legally responsible bacteria in the water and carfor the safety of those on your ries disease to swimmers. Use boat and any damage that your the local onshore bathroom. Engine contamination reboat causes to other boaters, property and injuries due to sults when your boat leaks gas damage. Just like driving a car, or oil. A single quart of oil can if you don’t know and obey the rules, the fact that you didn’t know them is NOT a defense. There are rules for boating, just as there are rules for driving. These include right of ways, yielding, overtaking, meeting another boat, etc. Boating safety is no accident. To obtain sound knowledge, proficiency and confidence which are the keys to safe boating, consider taking a boating safety course. Let’s Remember to keep our Waters Clean It is a violation of federal law to dump any of the following into lakes and rivers: plastic, garbage, glass, food, paper, metal and rags. The fines can be up to $50,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.

contaminate an area equivalent to three football fields of water surface. Garbage contamination lasts past our lifetimes. These include plastics and containers. Plastic can also clog engines and propellers. Pollutants such as chemicals and cleansers can be destructive and toxic to fish.

Lakefoto by Keith Bridwell

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Wise County Park, haven of outdoor recreation

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath by J.D. Clark For years, Wise County Park has been a popular destination for people visiting Lake Bridgeport, and for good reason. The 180-acre park features 24 RV (recreational vehicle) hookups and 34 campsites. The RV hookups cost $20 per day and may be reserved by contacting Park Director Keith Jones at (940) 644-1910. Campsites cost $5 per tent or vehicle and, according to Jones, operate on a “first come, first serve” basis. The only campsites not available for overnight use are the four in front of the swimming area. These sites are for day-use only. Because of recent improvements, there are now fire rings and grills at every camp table. According to County Director of Public Works Tom Goode, those are not the only

places available for camping. Visitors of the park may “rough camp” in other locations, meaning that the spots are not in designated camp sites with fire pits or tables.

To those that visit Wise County Park frequently, its progress in recent years is immediately noticeable. “Ever since I’ve been here,” Goode said, “we’ve tried to make the park more familyfriendly.” In addition to the overnight spaces, the park features two boat ramps, a small playground, a vaulted concrete restroom facility, and three pavilions. One pavilion features running water, its own bathroom, electricity, and an RV hook-up and can be rented for $50. The other two pavilions, according to Goode, are “concrete slabs with a roof” and can be rented for $20 each. The swimming area is roped off and has large orange buoys for safety, and the old bathrooms have been refurbished. There are also new tops on all of the older campsites. A walking trail is now available for those wanting to take a healthy stroll. According to Goode, the trail, which opened in 2006, is a little over one mile in length one way, meaning that, round trip, it’s over a two-mile walk. Rest stops are available along the trail. Jones said the peak season for Wise County Park begins in May and “will build all the

way through the summer.” He also noted that the park begins attracting “a lot of fisherman at the end of March.” Bass clubs hold tournaments regularly, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosts a children’s fishing tournament on the first Saturday in June at the park. It is not unusual to witness a variety of activities taking place at the park. On an average day during the peak season, the parking lot is full of trucks pulling empty boat trailers, and someone is usually unloading some type of watercraft off the boat ramps at any given moment. Families can be seen roasting hot dogs and erecting tents, while swimmers splash around in the water. Some patrons of the park decide to toss a fishing line into the nonswimming areas and hope to snag the next big catch. Ownership of Wise County Park was turned over from the

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Wise County in 2002. Although Jones is director of the park, it is ultimately under the jurisdiction of Goode. Goode’s budget pays the salary of Jones, and the camping fees go toward the park’s maintenance.

Jet Skiers, others require preservers All people riding any kind of personal water craft, such as wind surfs, aquaplanes, jet skis, or other similar crafts, must wear a coast guard approved life preserver. People of all ages, not just children under 12, riding these water craft must wear the preserver. Further, no one under 12 may operate a water craft unless accompanied by someone over 16.

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 43

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Lakefoto by Francine West

Understanding and preventing seasickness Short of an accident, perhaps nothing can ruin a sailing trip more than a case of seasickness. While the lake and sun can make for a perfectly relaxing setting, those who suffer from seasickness know that it can also be a nightmare. While it's common to associate seasickness with first time sailors, seasickness can actually sink its teeth into even the most veteran of boaters. But seasickness doesn't have to keep fans of the water away from the lake. Instead, understanding what seasickness is and how to prevent it can ensure that all of us can enjoy the water and keep our sea legs under us in the process.

WHAT IS SEASICKNESS? Seasickness is essentially the byproduct of your brain being confused. When a person becomes seasick, it is because the body, the inner ear and the eyes are all sending conflicting signals to the brain. For example, someone sitting in the cabin of a moving ship can suf-

fer seasickness because their inner ear can sense the motion of the waves while their eyes are telling the brain there is no movement. The brain then begins to malfunction because of this, creating feelings of confusion, dizziness and nausea, while likely causing headaches as well.

HOW IS SEASICKNESS PREVENTED? As much as some people might feel they're especially susceptible to seasickness, it can be prevented. The following tips can help reduce the chance of succumbing to seasickness, or help lessen the feelings of uneasiness that result from it. * Find a secure spot to sit. Sitting or lying down in an area that appears to move the least can reduce the queasiness associated with seasickness. Try sitting in a cabin close to the center of the boat. If you're on deck, sit in the center and stare at the horizon to lessen the feelings of confusion in your brain. * Drink water. Good hydration

has been shown to prevent seasickness. However, those concerned about seasickness should note that it's best to fully hydrate before getting on the boat. When you first get on the boat, it's important to avoid eating and drinking, especially alcohol, until you're certain you won't become seasick. * Consult your physician. Certain medications are available that can help people who suf-

fer from seasickness. Many of these are prescription medications, so consult a physician to determine what's the best option for you. * Eat healthy food before going on board. Eating healthy can also help reduce the risk of seasickness. Unhealthy foods are often slow to digest, which means they could still be in your stomach as you get on board, even if it's been a while

since you last ate. While you don't want to overeat before getting on board, make sure you have eaten recently. An empty stomach can make you feel bad on the water, too. * Avoid caffeinated beverages. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and soda accelerate dehydration, which can lead to feelings of uneasiness when out on the open lake.

District regulates wharves, docks The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) requires a permit for anyone wishing to construct a wharf or dock on their property on Lake Bridgeport. A permit is also required for people maintaining a boathouse on the lake. No enclosed boathouses are allowed on Lake Bridgeport. The TRWD regulates any structure which floats on the

water, or extends into or over the water. The TRWD restricts structures only if they pose problems with navigation, people, property or materials

used. The TRWD also requires a special permit for commercial structures extending onto or into Lake Bridgeport.

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 45

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Mouth-watering breakfast and lunch menues await you! (And FRIDAY IS FISH DAY!) We proudly announce the completely remodeled and improved ONE STOP OF TEXAS - the Shopping Oasis of Lake Bridgeport! You will find a dining area to serve quality breakfast and lunch items, and a wellstocked meat market including all your favorites - sausages, chicken, beef cuts and more! Of course, all your favorite cold beverages will be on hand - beer, wines and coolers - but you’ll also enjoy shopping in a clean, brightly-lit and non-smoking environment for the grocery items you need. YOU’VE RELIED ON ONE STOP FOR YEARS to supply qualClean indoor restrooms await you, and ity meats at affordable prices. We hope you’ll take the opporyour favorite boating and automotive fuels, tunity to see what waiting for your outdoor barbecue now. oils and accessories are available. You’ll find a clean, well-stocked and uplifting store to entice you to return again and again. We hope you’ll accept the offer. Berry and Linda White and Berry White IV


STOP Est. 1970


FISHING HEADQUARTERS ON LAKE BRIDGEPORT! We stock your favorite lures, rods and reels, minnow buckets and related items, and have an enclosed bait room for cleanliness and convenience.

Runaway Bay, Texas Phone 940/575-2811

2010 Lake Edition … Page 47

Crucial lessons about life jackets When an emergency strikes on water, a life jacket can make the difference between life and death. That’s why you want to be sure you have the right life jacket onboard — preferably one for each member of your boating party.

where there is a good chance of a fast rescue. It’s the most comfortable type of life jacket available in many styles, making it good for general boating or the activity marked on the label. It’s not recommended for rough waters since the wearer’s head can be covered by waves where the jacket cannot provide adequate flotation. Select a life jacket that is U.S. Coast Guard approved (which means it has endured intense testing), properly sized and in a visible color. Child-size life jackets list the weight range geared for the jacket and should feature a crotch strap, an oversized float collar and a grab loop to pull the child out of water. For all ages, a life jacket should fit snugly but comfortably when all straps, zippers and ties are fastened. Test the jacket on land and on water. If you raise your arms over your head, the life jacket should stay in place. Have someone lift the jacket up by the shoulders; it should stay in place. If you can, test the jacket in a pool or in shallow water prior to use on open water. Relax your body and tilt your head back. Your chin should be above water and you should be able to breathe easily. Another water test is to jump into a pool feet first from a platform the same height as your boat. The life jacket should not pop off over your head. Once you find one that’ s suitable, put your name on it so you wear one that is sized just for you.

SELECTING A JACKET When you’re dealing with water, fashion or price shouldn’t factor into your life jacket decision. Choose your life jacket based on what you will be doing in the water as well as the water conditions. Life jackets vary in shape, color and material — just make sure you get one that’s suited for you. The label on the jacket will indicate if it’s designed for your weight, and the proper uses for its level of durability. Following are common types of life jackets: Type One: It’s designed for open, rough waters, or where it may be hard to be rescued. While it’s bulky, it provides the best flotation and turns most unconscious wearers from a face-down position to a faceup position. It usually comes in a visible color and in a few different sizes. Type Two: It’s geared for calm or inland waters, making it the proper choice for boating or fishing. It’s used in waters where there is a good chance of a fast rescue. Type Two jackets are more comfortable than Type Ones, but they cannot be relied upon to turn unconscious wearers to a faceup position consistently. As a result, they are not good for long hours in rough water. INSPECTION Type Three: This jacket is Twice a year, re-inspect all designed for calm waters jackets. Make sure children

Did You Know? If you purchase a boat, you may also need to upgrade your vehicle. For those planning on towing their boat to and from a marina or on recreational trips, a vehicle that is able to tow heavy loads will be needed. Check the towing capacity of your vehicle. An oversized boat just may exceed that number. In that case, you may have to turn to an SUV or pickup truck that boasts a higher towing capacity. While it may not win awards on fuel economy, you'll know that you won't get stuck trying to ascend a hill with your boat on back. Plus, with summer around the corner, you can also tow other recreational items, such as campers, trailers, muscle cars, motorcycles, etc.

still fit into theirs — children grow fast so their jackets will need to be replaced often. Inspect jackets for tears, holes, deterioration or ripped seams. Patch any small holes, but replace the jacket if they are large enough for water to seep in. Buckles and zips should fasten easily. There should be no mildew odor or signs of shirking. Test the jacket in water again to make sure it still floats. If it failed any of these tests, throw your jacket away.

Proper care and maintenance of your life jacket can help it last for years. After a day of boating, let your jacket dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated place before putting it away. If you were in salt water, rinse the jacket thoroughly with fresh water. Also remember that heat damages life jackets. That’s why you shouldn’t leave it aboard a boat in the sun when the boat is not in use. Also, don’t dry your life jacket in a dryer, on a radiator, heater or other heat source, CARE AND MAINTENANCE which can damage it.

Fishing and Boating

WITH THE RIGHT SUPPLIES, you can dive right into recreational boating and fishing fun. Boating or catching some fish for the first time with family, friends or solo this season? Don’t dive in uneducated. This primer will tell you everything you need to know to make a splash: FISHING • automobile accessories • bags • carryalls • bait containers • chairs and seats • fish storage bags and sealers • hook sharpeners • insect repellent • knives, sharpeners and accessories • markers and buoys • rod carriers and storage • tools and maintenance supplies

• rod holders • waders and wading accessories • fishing kites • pushpoles and holders • scales and measurement devices • cast, landing and nets • flashlight and lights • line winders • reel covers • soaps and hand cleaners • downriggers • gaffs and tagsticks • maps and charts • rod belts and harnesses • sunscreen and skincare products BOATING: • anchors, docks and mooring accessories • charts and navigational aids • batteries and chargers • cleaning and maintenance products • engine parts and accessories • jack plates and engine lifts • outriggers • purification and filtration • environmental products • ladders • paddles and oars • rocket launchers • binoculars and visual aids • coolers • galley and grills • marine hardware • ropes, lines and cords • personal flotation devices • covers and canvas • safety and lighting products • instruments and gauges • pumps and accessories • seats and cushions • carpets and flooring

Safety Tips Be Weather Wise. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can be indicators that a storm is approaching. Be attune to local weather and keep a portable radio to regularly check weather reports. Bring extra gear you may need. Keep on board a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit and sunglasses. Put things that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats. Use this handy checklist to verify that you have the proper safety equipment and have checked your boat systems for operational safety. (See your local United States Coast Guard Auxiliary for more details of the safety features listed below.)

Check: * * * * * * * * * * *

Vessel Numbering Life Jackets Fire Extinguishers Navigation Lights Visual Distress Signals Fuel and Fuel System Anchor with Line Paddle or Oar Manual Pump or Bailer Electrical Installation Galley Installation Tell someone: where you're going, who is with you and how long you'll be away. Then get in the habit of checking your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving. Ventilate after fueling. Open hatches, run blower and most importantly, carefully sniff for gasoline fumes in the fuel and engine areas before starting your engine. Keep fishing and hunting gear clean and well-packed. A loose fish hook can cause a lot of pain and ruin a great outing. Bring an extra length of line to secure boat or equipment.

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Fishing tips and recipes by J.D. Clark One of Wise County’s favorite pasttimes is to spend a lazy, peaceful day fishing on Lake Bridgeport. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the most predominant fish in the lake are white and hybrid striped bass; crappie; channel catfish; largemouth bass; smallmouth bass; and sunfish. In fact, the TPWD reports that the populations of the white and hybrid striped bass and the crappie are “excellent,” while the other four populations are “good.” According to the TPWD, “(w)hite bass fishing is best during the spring spawning run.” During this time, mainlake points and inflowing tributaries are good producers of crappie. In the summer, white bass are likely to be found any-

where: in front of the dam, near Rattlesnake Island in open water, and around submerged gravel piles. For these locations, the TPWD recommends baits such as surface lures, plastic shad, small spoons, jigs, and live minnows or shad. Hybrid striped bass are attracted to similar areas and baits. In the winter, hybrid bass can be found feeding on shad and attracting the attention of many sea gulls. The black bass found in Lake Bridgeport include largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass. The TPWD advises that the fish can be caught “almost year round” but adds that spring and fall yield the best results. For trophy fish, try the months of February and March. Effective spring baits include a Carolina Rig worm or 6-inch lizard, a 7-inch Texas rigged worm, and crankbaits.

FRIED FISH From the Kitchen of: Jo Ann Manning Ingredients Fish Salt and pepper Corn meal

Beer Peanut Oil

Directions Clean the fish and cut it into chunks. Soak the fish in beer, then drain. Salt and pepper the fish, and roll the chunks in corn meal. Drop the fish into peanut oil at a temperature of at least 350 degrees. Take the fish out when it is a golden-brown and starts to float.

In the summer, the TPWD suggests using jig and pig, spoons, Texas rigged worms, and crankbaits. In the fall, baits, spinners, and jigs that mimic crawfish should be used in the muddy and shallow water. The TPWD site on Lake Bridgeport says, “Roll a spinner bait, bump a crankbait, or dabble a Texas rigged worm over one of the submerged gravel humps and you better be holding to something solid.” To visit the TPWD’s Lake Bridgeport site, go to http:// w w w. t p w d . s t a t e . t x . u s / fishboat/fish/recreational/ lakes/bridgeport/. For those readers who plan to catch the fish but aren’t sure what to do with them, enjoy these recipes from local residents to create a genuine fish fry meal.

Spicy Roasted Pepper Tartar Sauce Ingredients 1 cup Mayonnaise 1/4 cup Roasted red bell pepper Pureed 1 tablespoon jalapeños Diced 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce 1-1/2 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Directions Whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Lemon-Dill Tartar Sauce Ingredients 1-1/2 cup Mayonnaise 1 teaspoon dill pickle minced 1 teaspoon capers 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon dill weed (fresh) 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Directions Blend all ingredients until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

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We really want to see you again!

COLESLAW From the Kitchen of: Theo Wilson Ingredients Mayonnaise Sugar Shredded cabbage

Shredded carrots Salt Pepper

Directions Start with desired amount of mayonnaise and add sugar to reach desired consistency. Mix with shredded cabbage and a few shredded carrots to liking. Add salt, pepper, and other spices as needed.


2010 Lake Edition … Page 49

Boating safety is of high importance on the water continued from page 17 other vessel is prohibited. While boating, it is also important to avoid alcohol as the chances of having an accident doubles. Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car while intoxicated and Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) carries very similar penalties as a DWI, including the possibility of driver’s license suspension. It is a good idea for the whole family to take a boater education course regardless of age. Over half of all boating accidents involve people between the ages of 26 and 50 years old. Although there are no numerical speed limits on the water, citations may be issued for excessive speed or reckless

operation. Pilots should use common sense and operate at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Excessive speed is defined as a speed that is greater than is reasonable without regard to conditions or hazards, or greater than will permit a person to stop the vessel in the cleared distance in front of them. Obviously, one of the more overlooked safety precautions some may find is maintaining their boat and equipment. Having a boat tuned right and maintained can mean the difference between having a good time on the water or being stranded. Maintaining other equipment such as life jackets and fire extinguishers can make a huge difference should an

Safety Tips for Skiers

For the number of participants in the nation, nearly 16 million, water skiing is remarkably a safe sport considering the action. The reason for this is the observance by most boaters and skiers to common-sense rules of safety. It starts with having good communications between the boat driver, the skier and the observer in the boat who’s watching the skier. Here are some additional tips: • Know the waters in which you’re skiing to avoid any shoals, stumps, posts that may be unseen just beneath the water’s surface. • Never water ski at night or in a fog. • Stay clear of solid objects such as buoys, abutments, and other boats and the like. • Know the ability of the boat driver and go over the hand signals you’ll be using to

communicate before you get on the water. • Keep a reasonable distance from fishermen, swimmers and other skiers when water skiing. • Know the state and local laws regarding water skiing and the extra safety items which may be required in your boat. • The skier should always wear a USCG approved Type III flotation jacket no matter how well he can swim. • Never use alcoholic beverages or drugs that may induce sleepiness when skiing or boating. • Never ski double with different rope lengths. If the skier on the long rope falls, the line can entangle the skier on the short rope. • When landing, always come in parallel to the shore. Your speed over the water is deceptive and the risk of injury is greater when the skier comes directly onto the beach after he’s whipped away from the towboat.

emergency happen on the water. Maintaining a taut tow line can help keep the line from breaking and breaking and stranding tubers or water ski-

ers. Finally, all boating operators need to be aware of markers, buoys, and other boaters. Just simply being aware of these three factors can help

prevent collisions, getting stranded or hitting submerged obstacles. These safety laws and tips of the water help keep everyone safe on Lake Bridgeport.

Island names still remain a mystery by Staff Horse, steele, stripling and rattlesnake–these words may seem mismatched and jumbled and may not mean much to many, but for those living near Lake Bridgeport, those words take on a whole new meaning. While the lake has nine islands located on their property, the four largest and most wellknown ones are Rattlesnake Island, Stripling Island, Horse Island and Steele Island. Both Rattlesnake and Stripling Islands are linked to the main roadway by a causeway. “I have no idea how they got their names,” said Richard Ellis of the Tarrant Regional Water District. He guesses that the islands were probably named in the 1920s and 1930s while the lake was being built. Rattlesnake Island probably

got its name from its inhabitants, according to Ellis. Gas and oil wells are located on the island, and workers continue to find rattlesnakes around the land. The naming of Horse Island has not been made known as of yet, and the word “strip-

ling,” found in the Webster’s Dictionary means, means an adolescent, youth or young one. Unless new information surfaces, the stories behind these curious names will remain a mystery.


The Kaker Agency LLP Tressa Kaker Parsons • Carl K. Kaker Christi Anderson 1104 Stevens • Bridgeport • 940-683-2621

Page 50… 2010 Lake Edition

Twin Hills Restaurant was a staple on the lake that no longer exists

An early morning fire completely destroyed the landmark Twin Hills Restaurant on the east shore of Lake Bridgeport in 2006 while owners Rollins and Connie Bilby were outof-state. Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Cunningham was still on the scene late that morning, attempting to isolate the cause. - photo courtesy Greg Raven of Plantation, Florida, while on Christmas vacation at the home of his parents, Royce and Peggy Raven of Lake Bridgeport

by Staff Golden fried catfish, cornbread hush-puppies, beans, and green tomato relish were staples at Twin Hills Restaurant and Marina. However, Connie Bilby made the restaurant known for her homemade desserts, especially the bread pudding with rum sauce. She served up her specialties for 25 years in the Twin Hills Restaurant and Marina, since 1981. Bilby will no longer serve those desserts, or catfish, or shrimp, or anything else for that matter, because Twin Hills restaurant, a staple to Lake Bridgeport, burned down in December of 2006, in an act of arson. In May 2007, Jesse Warren Cahill was arrested for allegedly setting fire to the restaurant. Bilby said she and her husband, Rollins, would not rebuild the restaurant, as there was no insurance on the building, a place where she dedicated her life. “It gave me a sense of purpose,” said Connie Bilby.

Now, her memories are gone, but when she spoke of them, she remembered her customers’ memories also. “They got to be more than just customers,” she said. Bilby said many people had their rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasion dinners at Twin Hills. Plus, she said, she saw many families raise their children, and then those children’s children, throughout the years. When the lake was up, boats and other water travellers could actually dock their watercraft at the base of the restaurant, and go inside to dine. Bilby served only beer, but customers were allowed to bring their own wine and liquor in, but it couldn’t be served by the waitstaff. In 2003, Twin Hills celebrated its 25th anniversary. According to Bilby, catfish was sold for the same price it was sold for when the restaurant opened in 1978. “We had a packed house,” she said. Bilby smiled as she remem-

bered some of the good times at the restaurant, but when she began to think and speak about the fire, her face grew somber. “I haven’t been back down there since the first week of the fire,” she said, admitting that the loss of the restaurant broke her heart. She had spent a lifetime collecting unique decorations for the restaurant. “I had a collection of bird nests,” she said. She said she felt the most stand-out decoration of the restaurant was the entry-way where a canvas boat from upstate New York had adorned the space. She had many interesting decorations in the restaurant that could not be replaced, such as a dried hornets nest. “I put anything in there that I thought would be of interest,” she said. The most important aspect

of the restaurant for Bilby was the cleanliness. She said with a degree in home economics, she knew how important food safety was, not just to her but to the customers, also. “I thought that was the most important thing,” she said. She said when she began she started in the kitchen making sure everything was cooked and served properly. By the last summer the restaurant was open, Connie Bilby had become a staple of Twin Hills Restaurant in the front, too. At the time of the fire, reports said no one was hurt in the fire at the Twin Hills restaurant. While no one sustained a physical injury, it was obvious Bilby hurt emotionally. She said not to worry, though. She’s ready to move on, and find something new in her life. She’s ready to write the next chapter of her life.

Don’t Drink & Operate A Boat SanDford PETROLEUM 501 S. US 81 Bus. • Decatur • 940-627-2689 206 Hwy 380 • Bridgeport • 940-683-2501

2010 Lake Edition … Page 51

Gunplay was also part of history of building of Lake Bridgeport Dam continued from page 16 stand between these men and their attackers. As the result of this and the discussion that Mr. Leamon had a few days later with the local group, two of the leaders of the local group were arrested for questioning but were not put under peace bonds. The next two weeks would have caused the tourist to think that the old wild west was being relived by the members of the Leamon faction or maybe they had not heard of the Texas law that did away with gun-toting. Everywhere that any of the Leamon faction went, whether it was in any of the stores or into an individual’s home they carried a shot gun and pistols strapped to their sides. This state of alarm was also observed on the job where the

men were working and an that followed in the next tim- sis and the value or price paid people had to work, their famiarmed check guard was placed ber clearing project. The next was very low in some cases lies were without food and at the entrance of all roads group were put on contract ba- and fair in other cases. But clothing. leading to the area where they worked. It was at this point that the Mexican Consular Service entered the investigation. The consular promptly caused all of the Mexican nationals to be given safe conduct to their homes in Mexico or elsewhere, where it was considered safe for them. Thanks should be given to the Mexican Consular Service for relieving a tense situation. It is not known whether the Mexican officials were invited by the Tarrant Water Board or came on their own accord to check on the trouble that had occurred to their nationals. This brought on changes and reprisals to the labor group

Photo circa 1931 as Lake Bridgeport was being constructed.

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Page 52… 2010 Lake Edition

Wise County Park rules of conduct (a)Entrance/user fees: payment. It is an offense to enter, use, or occupy a facility in any portion of a park for which a fee has been established, unless the person has first paid the fee or satisfied the requirements of the fee, has received an entrance/use permit issued by the department, and has attached the permit to their vehicle as and when required by the permit. If the office is closed, payment must be made according to posted instructions or signage. (b)Use of facilities. It is an offense to: (1) use an area or facility for any purpose contrary to its designated purpose; and (2) keep, use, or arrange a motor vehicle, trailer, camping, or other equipment except as specified by the director. All vehicles and trailers must remain on paved surfaces and in designated areas only, unless otherwise specified by the director. (c) Plant life. It is an offense to willfully mutilate, injure, destroy, pick, cut, or remove any plant life except by permit issued by the director. (d)Fires; smoking; firewood; fireworks. It is an offense to: (1) light, build, or maintain a fire within a park except in a facility or device provided, maintained, or designated for such purposes or to smoke or build fires when an extreme fire hazard has been posted; (2) notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, portable camp stoves may be used in designated campsites or picnic areas; (3) possess within a park any fireworks, explosives, or similar devices capable of explosion, or to discharge, set off, or cause to be discharged in or into a park any such device or substance, except with written authorization from the director. (e) Animals. It is an offense to: (1) bring into or possess within a park a pet or other domesticated animal, unless the animal is secured by a leash not exceeding six feet in length, or confined in a vehicle, or to permit an animal to enter into or remain in a unit of the park

unless so secured; (2) permit a pet or other animal to remain unattended or create a disturbance or hazard within a park; (3) permit an animal (except a trained assistance animal accompanying a person with a disability) to enter into or remain in any building or enclosure designated for public use including, but not limited to, a restaurant, snack bar, cabin, lodge room, restore, park store, shelter, refectory building, amphitheater, administration building, or railroad coach; (4) permit a pet animal in the water of a designated swimming area or to permit a pet animal (except a trained assistance animal accompanying a person with a disability) within the land or beach area adjacent to the water of a designated swimming area; (5) bring into, permit to range, or release into a park a wild animal, pet, fowl, or livestock except as authorized in this chapter or a permit or by law; (6) possess a noisy, vicious, or dangerous animal, or one which is disturbing to other persons, in a park; (7) through (10) no horses (f) Arms and firearms. It is an offense to: (1) possess a firearm with a cartridge or projectile in any portion of the mechanism, except when authorized by the commission or the director; (2) display a firearm, except when authorized by the director or the commission; (3) discharge across, in, or into a park any arm, firearm, or device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal or damaging or destroying public or private property, except when authorized by the director. (g)Assembly. It is an offense to conduct or participate in an assembly or public demonstration except with written permission of the director. (h)Nudity and disrobing. It is an offense to appear nude. (i) Closed area. It is an offense to: (1) prevent or interfere with development, construction, or management of a park;

and (2) enter or remain in an area of a park that has been closed by the director for any reason, including security, safety, preservation, or restoration. (j) Alcoholic beverages. It is an offense to consume or display an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a public place or sell alcoholic beverages within a park. (k)Soliciting. It is an offense to solicit funds or donation of any item, or offer to sell any goods, wares, merchandise, liquid, or edibles, or render any service for hire, or distribute written material, in a park, except by authority of a concession agreement approved by the director. (l) Metal detector. It is an offense to operate or use a metal detector. (m) Responsibility for minor children. It is an offense to permit a child or ward to violate a regulation when such child or ward is under 17 years of age. (n)Speed limit. It is an offense to drive a vehicle within a park at a speed: (1) greater than is reasonable or prudent, having due regard for the traffic and the road conditions then existing; (2) which endangers the safety of persons or property; (3) which exceeds the posted speed limit in any portion of the park system. (o)Vehicle operation. It is an offense to operate a vehicle in a park except on roads, driveways, parking areas, and areas designated open for vehicles. (p)Parking. It is an offense to: (1) park a vehicle or trailer in a park except in areas designated, constructed, or designated for that purpose; and (2) park, store, or leave a vehicle or trailer in violation of subsection (b) of this section when signs have been posted in the affected areas. (q)Motorcycles. It is an offense to operate a motorcycle that is not licensed and inspected as authorized by Texas Motor Vehicle Laws. (r) Trail use. It is an offense to operate or use a vehicle, in-

cluding a motorcycle, a motorbike, a mini-bike, an all-terrain vehicle, a golf cart, or a bicycle on a trail or path not designated and posted for use by such vehicles (wheel chairs and electric scooters used by persons with a disability are exempt) or use the trail in a manner that is dangerous to a person or animal. (s) Traffic. It is an offense to: (1) operate a vehicle in a park between the park closing hour and 6 a.m. opening hour, except for emergency or necessary purposes; and (2) operate a vehicle in an indiscriminate or unnecessary manner (cruising). (t) Camping. It is an offense to camp except as authorized

by permit in areas designated or marked for that purpose. Camping is defined as: (1) occupying a designated camping facility; (2) erecting a tent, arranging bedding, or both, for the purpose of, or in such a manner as will permit, remaining overnight; or (3) use of a trailer, camper, or other vehicle for the purpose of sleeping during nighttime hours. (u)Minors, camping. It is an offense to remain in a park between the park closing hour and opening hour, if the person is under the age of 17, except the following: (1) a person who is ac continued on page 58


Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce Is genuinely committed to the growth and prosperity, not only of the City of Bridgeport, but for the entire surrounding area. ••• “Come enjoy the diversity, fresh air, and mall-style atmosphere on Main Street Bridgeport. Good food, antique shops, gifts and collectibles.” ••• Lake Bridgeport ... Year-’round recreation ... the only reliable source of fresh water in the county ... the addition of countless dollars to our economy ... attracting business, industry and outdoor enthusiasts. President ........................... Mike Hurd First Vice President ........ Colby Shawn Second Vice President . Will Carpenter Executive Director .............. Teri Bland 940/683-2076 • FAX 940/683-3969 email:

A Bridge to Tomorrow ... A Port to Call Home.

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 53

Construction of Lake Bridgeport Dam Seen here are two of the reproductions of six photographs that currently hang in the office of Lake Superintendent Richard Ellis. The photographs depict the construction of the Lake Bridgeport dam and were originally taken by the Freese and Nichols Engineering Firm. The Fort Worthbased company was hired by the Tarrant Regional Water District to construct the dam, and Ellis says that the 1920 blueprints of the dam were also done by the Freese and Nichols firm.

Reproduction photographs taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

Page 54‌ 2010 Lake Edition

Making your boat green-friendly For much of the last decade, the emphasis on living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has grown and grown. Many of the changes individuals can make are small and easy but have a very big and positive impact if practiced by enough people. One place people can also practice a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is on the water. Be it on the local lake or out on the water, the sea needs protecting as well, and boaters can do a number of things to make their boat more

environmentally friendly. * Clean the boat thoroughly, particularly the bottom. A thorough cleaning of your boat, including inspecting the hull to make sure it's clear of marine growth, grass and barnacles, will help reduce fuel consumption. This poses the double benefit of being good for the environment while also saving you money at the fuel dock. * Keep the engine in tip-top shape. The more an engine is taken care of, the better it's going to perform. A boat engine operating at optimal per-

formance will burn fuel more efficiently, resulting in fewer emissions into the air and water. * Practice careful fueling. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water notes the importance of carefully refueling your boat to avoid harmful spillage, and teaches how easy it is to spill fuel when refueling. Unlike automobiles, fuel tanks in boats are not pressurized. Inboard boat tanks do have air vents to relieve the pressure that builds while filling a tank,

Prepare boats for spring season With the warmer weather upon us, individuals who have been hibernating indoors will once again be venturing outside to enjoy Mother Nature. That also means taking boats and other water crafts out of dry dock to return them to the water for use. To ensure a safe boating season, spring preparation and checking of the vessel are highly recommended. No matter how carefully a boat is stored for the winter, there will be routine maintenance to take care of before the boat can once again hit the water. Here is a handy checklist you can use as you examine your boat and ready it for the new season. * clean the hull, deck and topsides with a mild detergent * apply a good coat of wax * clean and polish any metal

* clean and oil any wood surfaces * make sure drains and scuppers are clear * clean the interior * check and update tools and spare parts * inspect boat for abrasions, scratches, gouges and repair any * inspect swim platform and ladder * clean and grease winches * check lifelines for integrity * tighten all connections in your boat such as seats, livewell hinges, hull supports, floors, fish finders, electrical switches, trolling motor mounts and anything else you can find * inspect conditions of engines, hoses and clamps * check and change fuel filters * check transmission fluid * check battery water level

but this makes it easy to spill fuel while refilling. To combat spillage, there are a host of things boaters can do. To learn more, visit * Take trash seriously. Lots of people love to take guests out on their boat to have a good time. Without proper trash containers, however, such gettogethers can prove harmful to the water should trash drift into the waters. If you keep a trash receptacle on deck, be sure it has a lid that locks and make sure all guests take discarding trash seriously. * Wash your boat more responsibly. When washing your

boat, use fresh water and a scrub brush in lieu of chemical cleaners that can prove harmful to the water and the animals that call the lake home. Try using cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda in an effort to reduce the potential for chemicals ending up in the water. *Fix your boat in the offseason. If possible, refrain from repairing your boat while it is docked. Instead, if you haul your boat during the colder months, do the repairs then to reduce the likelihood that pollutants will end up in the water.

* check for spare fuses * inspect all lights * make sure electronics are functioning properly * ensure your registration is current * inspect sails and ropes (if applicable) * make sure you have all the appropriate safety gear and equipment to comply with the boating regulations for the boat you have * check out your first aid kit and replenish supplies


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Open 10:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7-DAYS-A-WEEK! - Phone 940/683-2800 Chico Highway • BRIDGEPORT

Lake residents protected by local fire departments by J.D. Clark Our county’s recent devastating grass fires have reminded area residents of the importance of volunteer fire departments. Residents along the lake have three departments (Runaway Bay, Lake Bridgeport, and Sand Flat) keeping watch over the area. The Runaway Bay Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1969 by J.W. Hadaway. Today, the department falls under the City’s Department of Public Safety, headed up by Director Drew Paschall. The fire department’s chief is Jimmy White, and the assistant chief and fire marshal is Brian Bernardo. Walt Warner is the president, and Roger Hyham serves as the vice president and chaplain. Melissa Bennett is the secretary. The Lake Bridgeport Fire Department currently has 16 active firefighters. Willie Garrett serves as the department’s chief, and Tommy Johnson serves as

assistant chief. Marcus Lambert is the president, with Scottie Ford as vice president. Amy Schexnayder is the department’s secretary, and Ronnie Kleam serves as treasurer. Max Moore is the public relations officer and chaplain, while Jason Paradise serves as first captain and Gary Schexnayder serves as second captain. According to Garrett, the department recently added a 21-foot rescure boat, the result

2010 Lake Edition … Page 55

of multiple successful grants. The department also received a $56,800 FEMA grant for more equipment. Although the department does not currently have an annual fundraiser, it is active in the Wise County Toy Run and the Lake Bridgeport Clean-up. The Sand Flat Community Volunteer Fire Department has been active since 2002. A list of the department’s officers could not be obtained by press time.

The explosive device which Paul Walsh found in Lake Bridgeport was described by Dr. Robert Marlett as one which was dropped from Corsair fighter planes during World War II. The explosive used is believed to have been dynamite. - Indexfoto

East Bay Estates resident Paul Walsh holds a World War II-vintage explosive device which he found on an island created when the level of Lake Bridgeport dropped by more than 15 feet. - Indexfoto

Read Construction Michael Read P.O. Box 1155 • Bridgeport, Texas 940-683-4226 Fax: 940-683-0171 Lakefoto

Page 56‌ 2010 Lake Edition

1 9 6 4 L A K E B R I D G E P O R T

2010 Lake Edition ‌ Page 57

Lightning only one of many dangers on the water Boating, swimming and other water sports are some of the more enjoyable recreational activities, provided safety is intermixed with fun. There are a variety of dangers lurking below the surface of the water and from water itself. But many people don't realize the dangers beyond the water, notably lightning. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an estimated 40 million lightning strikes account for nearly 100 deaths annually in the United States, making lightning considerably more harmful than hurricanes and sharks. Being completely exposed on a boat or another type of craft, such as a surfboard or water skis, makes water recreation dangerous when a storm is predicted. Sailboats with their tall masts are more susceptible to lightning hits than powerboats. But lightning can also funnel through the electronic systems on any boat. The National Marine Electronics Association dealers report substantial amounts of lightning damage to big-boat electronics every

year. According to marine experts, there are no ways to actually protect a boat from lightning, just ways to limit the damage if a strike should occur. Actually, keeping a boat docked during storms that have the potential for lightning is the only surefire way to ensure passenger safety. How Risky Is Lightning? It's important to understand some fundamentals about lightning to realize the danger involved. Lightning occurs when the difference between the positive and negative charges, the electrical potential, becomes great enough to overcome the resistance of the insulating air and forces a conductive path between the positive and negative charges. Lightning will generally seek the easiest path to the ground. Therefore it tends to strike the highest point in the immediate area. On the flat surface of the water, that is generally a boat. Most smaller crafts are not made from metal. They are made from lightweight materials such as fiberglass. Therefore, if lightning strikes, it will

search for any path to ground and the human body may be the best route. Radio antennae, fishing rods - and even lightning protection system rods themselves - may be targets for lightning strikes. Again, reason enough

to keep off the water if lightning is forecast. Medical Help CPR may be required to rescue a person who has been struck by lightning. Prompt artificial breathing and CPR can jump-start the heart and

lungs should they fail after a strike. Remember, there is no danger to touching a person who has been struck by lightning - the current has already passed through to the ground or water. Keep a level head and provide emergency care.

Avoid boating or entering the water when strong lightning-producing storms are predicted. Lakefoto by Shelley Moore

Take Time to Be Safe Do: * Observe the Rules of the Road * Carry a life preserver for each person on board: keep life preservers handy and PUT THEM ON in adverse conditions. * Instruct at least one of your crew in the rudiments of handling your craft in case you are injured or become incapacitated. * See that all hands know what to do in an emergency and where to find the safety equipment. * Check weather and tides before going out. * Check the gasoline system, and make sure that the tanks are vented and that bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease. * Be sure that you have enough fuel with plenty to spare. * Check your battery, lights and other equipment. * Reduce speed through all anchorage and moorage areas. * Reduce speed at night and during periods of poor visibility. * Maintain a proper lookout at all times. * Take your time in buying a boat or equipment: a bad "bargain" could cost you your life.

Don't: * * * * * * * *

Overload your boat or allow passengers to move about in a way that may change its balance. Leave shore in a leaky, damaged or poorly constructed boat. Venture into dangerous or restricted areas. Operate near swimmers or divers. Forget that your wake can endanger others. Use gasoline stoves. Lie at anchor with a short scope of line. Mix liquor or drugs with boating.

REMEMBER! A boat operator is responsible for any damage to persons or property caused by his wake!!!

Lakefoto by Francine West

Page 58‌ 2010 Lake Edition

Wise County Park rules of conduct

continued from page 52 companied by a parent or legal guardian; (2) a person who furnishes to the park headquarters the written consent of and the full name, residence, and telephone number of parent or legal guardian; (3) a person who is part of a group which is supervised during those hours by at least one responsible adult for each 15 persons under the age of 17; and (4) married couples. (v)Peace and quiet. It is an offense to: (1) disturb other persons in sleeping quarters or in campgrounds between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; and (3) cause, create, or contribute to any noise which is broadcast, or caused to be broadcast, into sleeping quarters or campgrounds, or which emits sound beyond the person’s immediate campsite,

Lakefoto by Francine West between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; whether by shouting or singing, by using a radio, phonograph, television, or musical instrument, or by operating mechanical or electronic equipment: (A) use electronic equipment, including electrical speakers, at a volume which emits sound beyond the immediate individual camp or picnic site at any time without specific permission of the director; (B) create a disturbance by causing excessive noise by any means. (w) Abandoned and unattended property. It is an offense to: (1) abandon a vehicle or other person property; (2) leave a vehicle, boat, barge, or other property unattended in a unit of the park system in such a manner as to create a hazardous or unsafe condition; and

(3) leave property unattended in a park without having received prior permission from the director or to leave a vehicle unattended after the closing hour, unless such person is legally in the park after closing, and unless he has parked the vehicle in a place designated by the director or he has prior permission from the director. (x)Water skiing; swimming. It is an offense to: (1) engage in water skiing, surf boarding while being towed, towing a person or a similar device, or operate a motorized ski device on lakes of less than 650 surface acres located in a park; (2) enter water or swim in an area closed for that activity; (3) swim at night unless otherwise posted; and (4) introduce, carry into, or possess, use, break, dispose of, throw, or abandon any glass container in the water of a swimming area, swimming pool, or in the beach area adjacent to the water of a swimming area. (y)Mooring. It is an offense to: (1) moor, dock, or berth a boat or any other object between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in mooring areas designated by the director; and (2) moor, dock, or berth a commercial vessel at any part of a park except by permit from the director. (`z) Public use limit. It is an offense to: (1) enter into, or remain in, an area or facility for which a public use limit has been established when such action will have the effect of exceeding the established limitations; and (2) exceed the public use limit establishing a maximum number of persons and, if appropriate, the number and type of motor vehicles, trailers, and equipment permitted to enter into, or remain in, a designated area or facility at any time. (aa) Checkout time. It is an offense to continue to occupy a facility past checkout time when a checkout time has been established by the director. (bb) Wildlife. It is an offense

to: (1) harm, harass, disturb, trap, confine, catch, possess, or remove any wildlife, or portions of wildlife from a unit of the park system, except by a permit issued by the director or as provided by the Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62, Subchapter D; and (2) release any fish into the waters of any park, except as authorized by the Parks and Wildlife Code. (cc) Geological features. It is an offense to take, remove, destroy, deface, tamper with, or disturb any rock, earth, soil, gem, mineral, fossil, or other geological deposit except by permit issued by the director. (dd) Cultural features and/or artifacts. It is an offense to

take, remove, destroy, deface, tamper with, or disturb any artifact or cultural feature except by permit issued by the director. (ee) Waste water, sewage, and gray water. It is an offense to: (1) deposit waste water, sewage, or effluent from sinks, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures directly on the ground or into the water; (2) use any water fountain, drinking fountain, pool, sprinkler, reservoir, lake or any other water body contained in the park for bathing, laundering, and washing dishes, pets, or vehicles; and (3) deposit fish parts at any location except park fish cleaning facilities.

Bridwell Publishing Co. Publisher: Keith Bridwell Photo Editor: Jo Gilbreath Pagination Director: Francine West Reporters: Whitney Bridwell, Paul Barnett, Jeannette Ward Front Cover Design by: Jo Gilbreath Design & Layout by: Francine West

Sales Representatives: Tricia Bridwell

Photography: Keith Bridwell, Jo Gilbreath Shelley Moore, Jeannette Ward, Francine West

2010 Lake Edition. . . Page 59

2010 Lake Edition

The City of Runaway Bay is nestled along the southern shoreline of beautiful Lake Bridgeport in the rolling hills of Wise County Approximately  friendly people enjoy a lei surely life style Runaway Bay is located  miles north of Fort Worth and miles west of Denton Driving distance to DFW International Airport is  miles and  miles to Dallas The warm dry climate allows practically yearround golfing fish ing and boating Runaway Bay boasts a challenging  hole cham pionship golf course with the finest bent grass greens in North Texas The Club is open to the pub lic and features an elegant dining room and lounge A modern marina owned by the City includes  lighted boat slips in a wind protective cove Bridgeport Municipal Airport bordering Runaway Bay offers  hour facilities Nearby one finds camping and outdoor activities at Bay Landing a Thousand Trails/NACO preserve and the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Reservation

Lodging is available at the Harbor Inn and Westwind Manor Restaurants include The Club's dining room and lounge One Stop of Texas Bay View Deli Mart Picnic facilities are located by the pub lic beach area Cricket Ridge Park and The Park

Summer activities include a golf cart pa rade followed by a Fourth Fest spectacu lar fireworks display Fishing and golf tour naments attract participants throughout the year Beauti ful Bridge port Lake offers all sorts of r e c r e  ational op portunities to visitors For more information contact us or visit the web site at wwwrunaway baytexascom

Lake Issue 2010  

Lake Issue 2010 Special Issue

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