CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Local tourism finds ways to deal with drought as low water levels lead to questions from travelers and also possible murky water at Big Spring.
Tuesday, we went to Big Spring and discovered the water is crystal clear again, but that wasn't the case just a few days ago.
"It's beautiful," said Toby McMillan, visiting from Stoddard County. "It's just a part of Missouri you don't see any where else. I don't see anything different."
"It's a wonderful place," said McMillan's 6-year-old daughter, Josey.
Park workers we met Tuesday say they were happy to see the spring return to normal.
"The past couple of weeks it was murky and milky," said Geoffrey Havens, park interpreter. "It was dry the water level dropped."
Havens says lots of tourists came to them concerned because Big Spring looked dirty,
"We got a lot of questions why is the spring is murky and if it was going to stay like that," said Havens. "We tell them it's not going to stay like that it's just a temporary thing that happens from time to time."
Havens explains any number of temporary issues including low water could have caused the water to cloud.
"Part of the cave system could have shifted," said Havens. "The karst topography of the environment could have been a factor because here's there's no filter to get the mud out of the water so that could have contributed. It could have just been that the water level dropped so much that the water got deeper into the area of the cave and caught some silt and brought that out as well."
Havens says it would probably take a major event to ever tarnish the spring permanently.
Meanwhile, on Current River, people notice low levels but that's not stopping families from floating.
"In places I noticed but not real bad," said Debbie Freeman. "It was pretty nice. We had a blast."
"The sun was hot, and I had to paddle sun but I was just getting my tan on," said Sierra Freeman.
Matt Bedell of The Landing says lots of people are calling to ask if floating and canoeing are still possible because of drought issues. He says the river is certainly open.
"It's business as usual," said Bedell. "Tourists will hit some low spots but you're not going to have to get out and carry your boat or tube. Just plan on it taking a little longer."
In fact, he says early heat in May helped give them a record season so far and other business like shops and restaurants agree.