Lack of rain creating boat launch issues

The drought conditions are causing another problem the water.

The DNR says the lack of rain is creating challenges at boat launches.

The concrete ramps may no longer reach all the way to the water, and hazards such as prop-wash holes can become more problematic.

These holes are created when boaters power-load the boat onto the trailer instead of using a winch.

“It can be pretty difficult to get a trailer unstuck from a hole like that,” said Nancy Stewart, DNR water recreation consultant.

“And just beyond the prop-wash hole, there’s often a mound of material that boats may get stuck on after launching, preventing them from getting to deeper water.”

Stewart offers the following tips for launching boats in low water conditions:

  • Check the ramp, especially the firmness of the gravel at the ramp’s end, and the water depth.
  • Visit an alternative access site, or a different lake or river altogether, if water levels are too low to safely launch your boat.
  • Watch for obstructions in the lake, like large boulders or tree stumps.
  • Expect delays at public boat launches and be patient with boaters who are having difficulty launching. You can also #BeGoodNatured and offer assistance.



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