Public hearing on boating restrictions on lakes Tippecanoe

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Public hearing on boating restrictions on lakes Tippecanoe and James, Aug. 21

8/6/08

A public hearing on proposed boating restrictions for lakes Tippecanoe and James will be held at the North Webster Community Center Gymnasium, Aug. 21, at 1 p.m.

Restrictions being considered include establishment of a 200-foot idle zone on the east side of the Ball Wetlands, creation of an idle zone in the channel between the two lakes, and establishment of a 500-foot trolling-motor-only zone on the west side of the Ball Wetlands in an area known as "the flats." The trolling-motor-only zone would also include a portion of shallow water north of the between-the-lakes idle zone and east of an area known as "Hoy's landing."

The primary purposes for proposing these boating restrictions are to:

1) protect the Ball Wetlands vegetation from further decline,
2) address public safety issues in the boating channel between the lakes and in shallow water,
3) make the boating restricted zones enforceable by clearly marking the zones for boaters and law enforcement officials, and
4) create the opportunity for restoration of both emergent and submerged native aquatic plants, particularly in the Flats area, either naturally or by restoration projects.

Establishing the boating restriction zones should help address long-term lake problems of shoreline erosion, nutrient reintroduction and excessive algae production.

The DNR set out demonstration 500-foot buoys at both ends of the proposed Flats trolling-motor-only zone on the west side of the Ball Wetlands on July 22. These buoys were placed to give boaters a visual idea of the area being considered for boating restrictions.

A hydro-acoustic water-depth survey also was conducted by the DNR on July 22 to get an accurate assessment of the current water depths in the proposed restricted zones. This new information will be presented at the public hearing. A key component that determines how much of an impact powerboating has on resuspending sediments and damaging aquatic vegetation is the depth of the water.

Questions and comments about the proposed rule may be sent to the Division of Hearings, Natural Resources Commission, Indiana Government Center - North, 100 N. Senate Ave., Room N501, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200, e-mailed to [email protected] or called in at (317) 233 -3322. Citizens do not have to be present at the public hearing for their comments to be formally accepted into the record and considered by the hearings officer.

Media Contact:
Marty Benson, public information officer, phone: (317) 233-3853, cell (317) 696-9812
 


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