A new, wider boat ramp may soon be available for residents of Brownwood and all of Brown County due to the hard work of many in putting on a successful fundraiser. Friday’s first annual Fourth of July Bowfishing Tournament on Willis Creek raised over $76. “We are very pleased with the amount of money raised, this will go a long way in helping us to repair the boat ramp on Willis Creek,” stated tournament director and President of the Willis Creek Soil Conservation District Peter Schmellin.
Schmellin indicated that the low water levels at Lake Brownwood are to blame for the quick deterioration of the Willis Creek boat ramp. “The public has had to find more reliable ramps with deeper water since the lake is so low. That’s what has brought them out to Willis Creek. But all these pontoon boats, speed boats, and jet ski trailers have really wrecked havoc with our little ramp.”
Plans call for a new ramp with 4 lanes to back boats down. Schmellin added, “the new ramp will allow up to 4 boats to be going in and out of the water at once. We will have a larger parking area as well.”
As for the fishing tournament, there were three categories that competitors could try to win: Biggest Pike, Biggest Walleye, and then the last one was a combination of Most Pike & Walleye. Local teen Alex Trist had a great time on his first trip to Willis Creek, “this tournament was a blast. I’ve never seen a more beautiful creek with deep, deep water. I didn’t get any fish, but there is always next year.”
Results of the tournament are still pending, as multiple fish were very close in size. The fish were stored on ice until a more experienced judge could arrive to determine Friday’s winners.
Schmellin added that work on the boat ramp has not yet begun, and he is not yet sure when groundbreaking will occur, “you know you got to get permits, the state makes you get permits, the city makes you get permits, these things take awhile.”