Drought, Low Lake Levels Create Boat Launch Challenges in Minnesota
UNDATED -- The drought and low water levels in Minnesota are causing another problem, boaters having difficulty launching and landing their boats.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says as lake levels go down and the waters recede, many concrete ramps don't extend down into the water any longer.
It can create hazards like "prop wash" holes. That's caused when boaters "power-load" their boats onto the trailer and create a hole at the end of the ramp. To avoid creating them, the DNR is encouraging all boaters to use the trailer crank to load the boat rather than the propeller.
When water levels are low, people are more likely to back their trailers past the ramps and into a "prop wash" hole. The holes can make it difficult to get your trailer out of the lake.
"Power-loading" also can leave a pile of built up sediment behind the "prop wash" hole and cause boats to get hung up after launching them.
The DNR recommends checking the ramp before putting the trailer in the water, visit a different lake if the water levels look too low, and always watch for underwater obstructions that may have become exposed like boulders and stumps.
Finally, the DNR is asking everyone to be patient as these conditions can make launching and landing boats more difficult and time-consuming.