No, it didn't rain. Then why is water finally flowing in the Paluxy River at Big Rocks Park?
Look again and you'll see a long white pipe spanning the weir and dipping into the the river on either side of the dam.
The Somervell County Water District installed the pipe and a pump Tuesday morning to create a vacuum effect and drain the water dammed up behind the weir.
Since the drought has left the river bone-dry in places and there are few visitors at Big Rocks Park, the district decided it was a good time to drain the river and clean out the build-up of sediment behind the weir, said Kevin Taylor, the district's general manager.
It may take another day to drain the river. Meanwhile, one man who walked up had a question for Taylor.
“Can we take fish out of there?” he asked.
“Sure,” Taylor said.
The fisherman popped open his phone to show the crew a photo of a big catfish he had caught a few days earlier upriver a bit.
“Guess I'll have to find a new fishing hole,” he said.
After the siphon began working, water, debris, fish and a snake flowed through the pipe. As the water drains behind the weir, fish may be left behind, ready for the taking.
The last time the district drained the river several years ago, people rushed to catch the fish.
In several weeks a contractor will begin drilling through the southern end of the weir and install a 30-inch diameter steel valve. The valve should be delivered next week, Taylor said.
“It will be opened during flood events and let all this silt collecting here flow through,” he added. “It also will make it easier to drain” the river in the future.
Meanwhile, it's nice to see water flowing again. But don't forget, it's still scummy and a sign remains at Big Rocks warning that an amoeba that thrives in stagnant water may be present. In rare instances the amoeba can cause a fatal disease.
“I don't recommend swimming in it,” Taylor said.