By MIKE CORN
Never mind the wind, people headed to lakes in droves over the long Labor Day weekend.
Visitation reports at lakes throughout the western third of Kansas showed the wind didn't deter many folks, according to Troy Brown, area parks supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Even the threat of blue-green algae, shutting down access to the water at Meade State Park, didn't serve as a complete deterrent, even though visitation overall was down from 2009.
"Even though they couldn't access the water, campers still camped," Brown said in a narrative detailing visitation to area lakes.
Utility sites at the lake were about 80 percent full, but the primitive sites fell victim to the algae, with only 10 percent of the sites full.
What it boils down to, Brown said, is people schedule visits to lakes on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, and they're not about to be daunted by routine Kansas weather.
About the only time weather is a factor, he said, is when flooding is involved, and campgrounds are under water.
"They look at those three weekends as something different," Brown said of the importance of getting out on the three main summer holidays. Other weekends, he said, are more often influenced by the weather events.
"We always gear up those three weekends for a huge crowd," Brown said, "and we're never disappointed."
Overall, Brown said, he was happy with the way things turned out during the Labor Day Weekend at area lakes.
Cedar Bluff Reservoir, with about 7,000 visitors, was the place to go over the Labor Day weekend.
Nearly all of the lake's 143 utility sites were full and primitive camping stood at about 60 percent full. All five cabins were full.
Lovewell had about 8,000 visitors, a welcome reprieve from the slow pace of late when the lake lost campers due to a bout with the blue-green algae.
Despite special events that went on as planned, the lake's visitation rate slowed.
Declared free of the algae, the park's 150 utility sites were full; primitive campsites stood at about 50 percent. All six rental cabins were full.
Prairie Dog state park had about 6,000 visitors, down about 1,000 from a year earlier. Utility sites were 90 percent full, while primitive camping was about 50 percent.
At Webster, all of its utility sites were full by Friday morning and primitive camping stood at 80 percent occupied.
With a lake full of water, Webster's visitation surpassed last year by about 800 visitors.