Marshall High School senior Jack Mottershaw, 17, enjoyed taking a splash Monday in the lake with his new rescue dog, Stormy.
Mottershaw found Stormy last week during a thunderstorm that came through the area.
On Labor Day, he and his parents, Jeff and Debbie Mottershaw, took Stormy to Martin Creek Lake State Park for the holiday.
”We came out to enjoy the weather,” Jeff Mottershaw said. “This is a nice family place to come.”
The Mottershaws, from Marshall, were among at least dozens of families who visited Martin Creek Lake State Park on Monday. Park Superintendent Sara Barber said the state park is allowing 75 cars per day into the grounds. The park sold out of day-use permits Saturday and Sunday, and Barber said she expected Monday to be no exception.
”As long as it’s not raining and it’s a holiday weekend, they will come,” she said.
Additionally, the state park was 80% full on available camping reservations with availability being reduced to every other campsite during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. The park has a little more than 100 campsites in total, she said.
Barber said crowds have been “good” this summer with everyone following rules set forth to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Visitors at the state park are not required to wear face coverings at all times; however, they must wear face masks when inside a building and in cases where they cannot social distance, she said.
Jimmy Evans, his wife Amber Slater and her nephew, 13-year-old Mason Biddle, visited Martin Creek on Monday to go fishing and to barbecue. Evans, of Longview, said he planned to cook bratwurst and burgers while Mason, who attends school in Gladewater, said he wanted to fish for perch.
”We’re just enjoying a nice day,” said Evans, adding that they come to the state park almost every other week. “We like it because it’s not overly crowded.”
”We always seem to get a barbecue pit,” Slater added.
The couple said they tried to visit Martin Creek Lake for Memorial Day, but the park was already at capacity so they went to Lake Gladewater instead. For Labor Day, Evans said they reserved a pass in advance.
”The reservations make it a little harder because you can’t just spur-of-the-moment decide to run out to the lake,” he said. “You’ve got to plan it out.”
The Mottershaws did decide to go to the lake Monday morning, and came without making a reservation. The family wanted to see if Stormy, their black Labrador, would get in the water, and she did.
”It’s just nice to be out,” Debbie Mottershaw said.