Justin Hernandez’s family spends almost every weekend on Lake Belton, and he talked Monday about why that is important to him.
“I grew up on this lake and really enjoy sharing it with my kids. I look forward to showing it to their kids and passing the experience down (to) generations,” he said.
Time with his family — mainly his three girls ages 11, 7 and 5 — is the main reason he loves going to Lake Belton, he said.
“It’s great for them to learn the safety along with experiencing the fun,” Hernandez said. “We bring our camper and our boat just about every weekend.”
Also important to Hernandez is the time he can spend sharing the lake with friends and even employees and work associates, he said.
Hernandez is a member of Lake Belton Boaters and said that involvement “goes a long way to preserve the lakes.”
“Groups like LBB (Lake Belton Boaters) are committed to that,” he said. “It’s a neighborhood watch for our lakes to keep them safe and clean.”
Lake Belton Boater Roger Williams, who operates the Facebook page, echoed his opinion of why belonging to a group like this is a benefit for boaters.
Williams said the group keeps everyone informed and promotes events on the lake.
Although Hernandez didn’t name his boat, people on the lake and his family members call it Emerald since it is a rare boat built by a company of that name. That particular boat, made in Abilene, isn’t built anymore.
Emerald is an uncommon tri-hull deck boat. The bottom half is like a race boat, while the top is roomy and family-friendly, according to Hernandez. He said it could be called a hybrid or a “hot rod SUV.”
Families attracted to Lake Belton
Bill Jones and his wife moved to Belton a year ago and live close to Lake Belton, he said. They dock their boat at North Point Marina.
“What a wonderful place to call home. The people at the marina are very friendly and the lake has many beautiful spots,” Jones said.
Janet Carter and her husband retired about a year ago and moved from Round Rock to the area mainly because of the lake, she said. They dock their 32-foot sailboat at Frank’s Marina and live just minutes from the lake.
“This is our retirement and you can’t beat this lake — it’s gorgeous, large and mostly quiet,” she said.
They spend their time at Temple Lake Park and the many coves “that dot the shoreline,” Carter said.
Donald Fountain and his wife plan to move to the Lake Belton area, too, he said.
“We love the lake and the area,” Fountain said.
Sharing a photo of a beautiful Lake Belton sunset after a rain shower Sunday was Richard Bush.
“I think those beautiful sunsets tell the whole story,” Bush said.
Stephanie Salmon of Temple said she likes the ability to show her kids “a better day than playing video games and being stuck inside.” Salmon just bought a boat in May and loves to get in the lake.
“Our boat is stored two minutes from the ramp, and just being able to get in the lake and spend a relaxing day with family and friends is the best thing ever,” Salmon said.
“Sometimes you have a bad day, you take the boat out and just ride,” Kimberly Harrison said.
Harrison goes to Lake Belton for boating and camping and Stillhouse Hollow Lake for fishing.
The importance of lake safety
Boating safety is very important, and many incidents on the lakes could be avoided, according to a post Sunday on the Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Department Facebook page.
The department’s Marine Operations Division responded to six drowning so far in 2019.
Its other activities on the lake include courtesy tows, basic boater assists, search and rescue missions, dive/recovery assists, emergency medical response and boating accidents.
A basic boat inspection should include checking fuel, electrical connections and batteries, navigational systems and lights.
Other advice includes the necessity of wearing a personal floatation device and observing Texas state law concerning the consumption of alcohol.
The Marine Operations Division answered to two incidents in August in which alcohol was a possible factor, and Texas Department of Fish & Wildlife game wardens made arrests. It is against Texas law to operate any kind of watercraft while intoxicated.
While Labor Day weekend is the last one that some boaters and others will spend on Central Texas lakes, the warm weather will keep others — like the Hernandez family — coming back for as long as they can.