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Why is Medina so low? #14324552 03/24/22 12:38 AM
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kirbydog Offline OP
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Looking at potential properties in the San Antonio/Austin area.

Why is Medina lake so low. Also, any thoughts about the lake would be appreciated.

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: kirbydog] #14324557 03/24/22 12:40 AM
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SAN ANTONIO WATER SYSTEM (or BexarMet, can’t remember which one it is) drains it and some goes to farmers down below the lake.

It’s always low, a few years back, it was almost completely empty. Don’t buy land there and expect it to be full. I can remember it being full like twice in 30 years.


Canyon stays much more consistent in level, still drops, but not near as much.

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: kirbydog] #14324685 03/24/22 03:48 AM
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Medina doesn't have a very large watershed.
In fact it has to rain mostly in and around the town of Medina up above Bandera or the lake will not benefit from even widespread rains, unless it's a flood in that very narrow headwaters.
Back in the early 1900's there were springs that fed into the river, and also creeks that ran just about year round.
Population growth and drought has taken it's toll.
When the lake does come up about every ten years or so, property around the lake suddenly sprouts "For Sale" signs and sales offices spring up on every cross road around the lake.
Back in the early 60's to around the eighties Medina had mostly shanties and land was pretty cheap, but now there are plenty of high dollar homes around the lake as land prices have gone up from people moving here from elsewhere.
The lower the lake gets, the more bargains can be found, but that's if you don't consider a nowhere near full lake a deal breaker.


Just one more cast!

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: Jimbo] #14324947 03/24/22 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
Medina doesn't have a very large watershed.
In fact it has to rain mostly in and around the town of Medina up above Bandera or the lake will not benefit from even widespread rains, unless it's a flood in that very narrow headwaters.
Back in the early 1900's there were springs that fed into the river, and also creeks that ran just about year round.
Population growth and drought has taken it's toll.
When the lake does come up about every ten years or so, property around the lake suddenly sprouts "For Sale" signs and sales offices spring up on every cross road around the lake.
Back in the early 60's to around the eighties Medina had mostly shanties and land was pretty cheap, but now there are plenty of high dollar homes around the lake as land prices have gone up from people moving here from elsewhere.
The lower the lake gets, the more bargains can be found, but that's if you don't consider a nowhere near full lake a deal breaker.


A neat trick is if you download "Google Earth Pro" there's a time-travel feature which allows you to see satellite photos of lakes from prior years. I got a few screenshots from that for some friends of mine who were thinking of buying land at the upper end of Lake Medina, and that convinced them it wasn't what they were looking for.


Last Cast Podcast: Two TPWD-certified elite anglers. One canoe.
Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: kirbydog] #14326025 03/25/22 04:28 PM
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Have family that lives on the lake and love every second of it. Good and bad.

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: LastCastPodcast] #14327602 03/27/22 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LastCastPodcast
Originally Posted by Jimbo
Medina doesn't have a very large watershed.
In fact it has to rain mostly in and around the town of Medina up above Bandera or the lake will not benefit from even widespread rains, unless it's a flood in that very narrow headwaters.
Back in the early 1900's there were springs that fed into the river, and also creeks that ran just about year round.
Population growth and drought has taken it's toll.
When the lake does come up about every ten years or so, property around the lake suddenly sprouts "For Sale" signs and sales offices spring up on every cross road around the lake.
Back in the early 60's to around the eighties Medina had mostly shanties and land was pretty cheap, but now there are plenty of high dollar homes around the lake as land prices have gone up from people moving here from elsewhere.
The lower the lake gets, the more bargains can be found, but that's if you don't consider a nowhere near full lake a deal breaker.


A neat trick is if you download "Google Earth Pro" there's a time-travel feature which allows you to see satellite photos of lakes from prior years. I got a few screenshots from that for some friends of mine who were thinking of buying land at the upper end of Lake Medina, and that convinced them it wasn't what they were looking for.

Wow, 2014 it is very low. Love me some Google Earth Pro.

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: grout-scout] #14327798 03/28/22 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by grout-scout
SAN ANTONIO WATER SYSTEM (or BexarMet, can’t remember which one it is) drains it and some goes to farmers down below the lake.

It’s always low, a few years back, it was almost completely empty. Don’t buy land there and expect it to be full. I can remember it being full like twice in 30 years.


Canyon stays much more consistent in level, still drops, but not near as much.




Plus #1. eeks


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Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: kirbydog] #14327801 03/28/22 02:13 AM
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Medina Lake was created for irrigation of farms to the south. San Antonio Water System does own some water rights as they are the successor of Bexar Met.
Currently as 22% of capacity. Not a good start to the Spring. Agree with other posts above in that it does have huge swings in water levels. Years ago it was at 3% of capacity, no joking.
In spite of the changes in water levels, it nearly always fishes better for me than Canyon.

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: Fish2Chill 1] #14327883 03/28/22 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish2Chill 1
Medina Lake was created for irrigation of farms to the south. San Antonio Water System does own some water rights as they are the successor of Bexar Met.
Currently as 22% of capacity. Not a good start to the Spring. Agree with other posts above in that it does have huge swings in water levels. Years ago it was at 3% of capacity, no joking.
In spite of the changes in water levels, it nearly always fishes better for me than Canyon.




Same for me, that’s why I hate to see it drying up. Canyon absolutely whoops me!

Re: Why is Medina so low? [Re: kirbydog] #14328852 03/29/22 12:05 AM
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Medina Lake is also right in the middle of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone so it is also prone to losing water directly into the ground. Ditto on the issues with it having a small water shed, and its primary purpose being for irrigation. My family had property in Pebble Beach in the 70s and the lake rising and falling was normal. That is why everyone there has their dock set up with some kind of movement or gangway setup to compensate.

I love the lake, and it is beautiful when it is near or completely full.

Last edited by Deude_Mann; 03/29/22 12:08 AM.
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