Early this year I talked a bit about the low water levels on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. That was then and this is now. Well, it is much worse than it was just three month’s ago. This will have an effect on all of us who visit the park, boat on the bay and lake, or even just walk along the bayfront and its docks.
I was down to the Erie Yacht Club a few days ago to check out the area and docks near where my boat will be moored this summer. When I took the boat out of the water for winter storage, my floating dock had, for the first time ever, a slight downward slant. Well, now I have a downright hill from the pier side. I need about 3 ½ feet to 4 feet of water to comfortably dock my boat. Looking into the water, I do not think I will have a problem. Looks like there is about 5 feet or more.
However, some of the larger boats and sailboats are in trouble. I walked around and found a few boat stalls that have 3 feet of less. Some of the sailboats need nearly eight feet water to move in and out of their stalls. As a friend of mine said, “Maybe I’ll put the boat in the water and use it as a cabin this year. Heck, I can save gas money, too.” Let’s hope it will slowly get a little better.
Here are the current projections of where and how these low levels will affect activities on Presque Isle;
a.Areas that may be effected
1. Leo’s Landing
2. Waterworks Dock Area
3. East and West Ponds
4. Perry Monument
b. Low water levels may increase sunlight exposure to aquatic vegetation, therefore
promoting its growth and density.
2. Boating Access
a. Areas that may be affected include:
1. Vista 3 Launch 2. Niagara Launch 3. West Pier Launch
4. Lagoons Launch 5. Horseshoe Pond Channel 6. Perry Monument
7. Marina Channel
b. Some ramps will be totally unusable due to shallow water
c. Increased aquatic vegetation growth may limit boating access and use of some waterways.
d. Increased number of exposed or near surface sandbars.
e. Markers will be placed at end of each ramp noting water depth and ramps end..
f. Possibility there will be ramps for use by canoes and kayaks only.
g. Sandbars will be marked with buoys and graded where possible.
1. First four slips on all piers have a water depth of approximately
3 ½ feet and are not usable for larger boats or fixed keel sailboats.
2. Boats assigned theses slips that have such boats will be relocated.
3. Park will notify all marina fixed-keel tenants of low water level.
b. Lift Well
1. Sandbar just outside of left well may cause fixed keel
sailboats to get stuck.
2. The park will attempt to grade sandbar.
a. Some of the park’s concession may be affected and include:
1. Canoe Rentals. 2. Presque Isle Boat Tours at the Perry Monument.
3. Paddle Boat Rental at East Waterworks Pond.
b. Presque Isle boat tours may not be able to operate at current location.
c. Canoe Rentals will not be able to use current piers. – -Pier may need to
be extended and moved to some form of floating docks.
d. Increased aquatic vegetation growth at East Waterworks Pond
will be prohibited for paddle boats.
a. Fishing Tournaments – Due to launching issues, park will send
letter to currently planned tournament sponsors about low water
levels and boat ramp problems.
b. Swimming Events – Bat swim, P.I. Triathlon – All areas may need
monitoring and herbicide spraying.
In addition there will be areas where ponds, lagoons, and other bodies of water are now very shallow and boats, kayaks and canoes will need to take care due to shallow water. Boaters on the bay and lake will need to keep alert for shallow areas as they maneuver on the water this summer.
On the plus side of all this is that some of the walking trails which are always flooded in the spring will this year be dryer and easier to walk, the beaches will be larger, and maybe Congress will release some of the 17 billion dollars they have in a special ( already approved and in prior budgets) kitty to dredge some of the problem areas of the Great Lakes. I will cover this hidden fund in a future blog.
See you on the park!!
This post was written by admin