Beaver Lake Low Water Levels a Hazard for Boaters
Low water levels at Beaver Lake are are dangerous for Labor Day boaters who encounter sand bars, tree stumps and rocks that were once underwater.
Park Ranger Alan Bland, with the Army Corps of Engineers, said the lake is around six feet below where it should be this time of year.
He said it’s important for boaters to keep a close eye on the boat’s depth finder.
“You can go from 110 feet of water to zero feet in less than 50 yards, so you got to pay attention,” Bland said.
Paul Piasecki, who has lived near Beaver Lake for 10 years, said he’s seen a lot of boat damage.
“Some of the homeowners around here their docks get into such low water that they can’t get the lifts down to get their boats off the docks,” Piasecki said.
Piasecki was in his boat at Prairie Creek Marina with family and said he’s seen the hazard in the waters.
“Sand bars, rocks, tree stumps there’s all kinds of stuff. Mainly, it’s whether or not you know where they are at,” Piasecki said.
There are around seven sand bars that used to be eight to 10 feet underwater but because of the low lake levels they can be as high as four feet above water.
Park rangers said boaters have to be cautious.
“They hit it and then they lose their lower unit, damage and might even total their boat because they aren’t paying attention to what the buoys mean,” Bland said.
Park rangers said the rain from Hurricane Isaac had no effect on water levels since millions of gallons evaporate daily.
“It’s going to take that and much more just to keep up with what’s going on at the lake. It’s going to take a massive amount of rainfall to make a difference on Beaver,” Bland said.
Park rangers said boaters can use Beaver Lake maps to locate the shallow parts.
This summer there has been five drowning in Beaver Lake.