Low water levels could cause problems for boaters

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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Lake County, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Those who are looking to take a boat out may want to be cautious of water levels. The drought South Dakota has seen over the Summer has caused low water levels in places like Lake Herman and Lake Madison.

“At the far end of the ramp, we only have 2.5 feet of water and if it takes more than 2.5 feet of water to load and unload your boat then you’re going to have some complications getting on and off the water,” said John Bame, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, District Park Manager.

This is a problem many lakes across the state have been experiencing.

“Lake Hermon, Lake Madison, and Lake Brant are not the only lakes that are impacted by low water, we’ve at conversations about other lakes are also being impacted, it’s dry throughout the entire state,” said Bame.

Some local boaters like Mark Covrig have had to change up how they are getting their boat into the water.

“We live on the lake, so we have a lift, but we were pulling it out today because the water is so low it’s tough to get off the lift at this point,” said Covrig.

For those who are using the boat ramp, it is recommended to crank the boat out of the water instead of using your motor or you could damage your propeller.

“What we’ve heard is that they’ve been filling the end of the ramp with rocks and if you motor up it is pushing the rocks back out and it creates a pile, so then that pile other boaters are going to hit,” said Covrig.

Before going out onto a lake, it is suggested you check the water level to make sure your boat can take off.

“Go to lakes that you’re familiar with, if you’ve been to a lake in the past and you’re very familiar with the elevation and depths, it’s better to go to those lakes,” said Bame. “Don’t go to ones you have no clue what kind of shape their ramps in, what kind of shape the water levels are.”

For more information on how South Dakota lakes, and to contact districts to check water levels click here.

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