Dropping water level forces boaters to use caution

    Farmers aren’t the only ones hoping for rain these days.  Boaters are feeling the effects of the dropping level of Clear Lake, according to boat dealers and conservationists.
    Tuesday, the level of the lake was measured at 12.36 inches below the weir. 
    “It’s getting noticeable, but people are still able to have a great time on the lake,” said Scott Maulsby, manager at Clear Lake Boats.  “We’ve held off putting some lifts and

boats in on north shore because the lake is low, but there’s plenty of water on the south shore.  We had a great weekend, with people enjoying the Oakwood and Tanglefoot areas of the lake on the south shore.”
    Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Ben Bergman said he’s seen some boat owners pulling their boats and hoists from the water because they can’t get the hoist low enough to accommodate their boat.
    “We need water-- rain-- and lots of it,” said Bergman, noting the lake is the lowest he’s seen it since coming to Clear Lake in 2005.  “It’s part of a cycle of weather and you just have to be cautious when operating your boat.  People need to use slower speeds and be further out from the shore before they speed up.”
    Maulsby and Bergman said they have both been busy with calls from boaters who have damaged the propellers on their boats.
    “There has definitely been some props damaged, but mostly by those who aren’t experienced on this lake,” said Maulsby.
    Saying the DNR can’t mark every hazard on the lake, Bergman urged boaters who are unfamiliar with Clear Lake to talk to locals or the DNR for safe boating advice. 
    “We’ve marked one reef off of Dodge’s Point and a rocky area near the Outing Club, but it would be - Read More Via e-Edition

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