Crowds flock to Elephant Butte Lake despite low water levels


People are slowly packing up after a big holiday weekend at the Elephant Butte Lake. This year, many campers and boaters were taken aback by something they noticed at the getaway spot. 

“Over 20 years I’ve been coming to the lake and so now I bring my sons along,” says Michael Tapia of El Paso, Texas.

Despite some rain showers Sunday and sprinkles Monday, the lake proved to be a popular spot for the holiday weekend. 

“The weather today is not what we’d like it to be, but still, as you can see here, a lot of cars still and a lot of activity,” says Truth or Consequences Mayor Steve Green. 

Labor Day weekend is one of many holiday weekends that has a history of drawing people across state lines every year. Memorial Day weekend brought in upwards of 80,000 people.

There is one striking thing that boaters and campers at the state’s biggest body of water are noticing this holiday.

“This is probably the calmest I’ve seen it so I think the water going down had a lot to do with that,” says Michael Tapia.

Visitors say they saw the lower waterline right away. Nevertheless, the overall atmosphere will keep them coming back. 

“There’s still plenty of water, it’s still lots of fun. The weather’s nice, the water’s warm. It’s like bath water,” said Tapia. “I would like for the lake to stay up. The people here at Elephant Butte are fantastic, you know?” 

Recent data shows Elephant Butte Lake is only 4.2 percent full based on conservation storage. That is 20 percent less than it was six months ago.

Those numbers amount to 30 feet lower than this time last year. 

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