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Does anyone know why the Ballard Street boat launch (just South of Crocker on Jefferson) has been closed the last week? The gates are locked tight. I know they put the docks in recently and people were using it. That launch was packed on weekends, good fishing is close to it.
 

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Mini, you're right. There is a silting problem out in front of that launch. Twice last year they had to haul several truck loads of deposits out form that area. According to the DNR Parks & Rec. Division, they should be back in there getting rid of the silt sometime in the next two weeks. The launch should be reopened within three weeks. But, this will be an ongoing problem, even when water levels come back up. The DNR is looking into a more permanent solution. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
 

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I'm not sure if the launch has reopened yet, but I wanted to pass along this info from the DNR Boating Unit. It's an email I received May 12.

Terry and Gary,
I spoke with our District Supervisor, Anna Sylvester, and she was hoping to have some equipment out there by last weekend. If it wasn't opened this last weekend, it should be open this coming weekend. We are also looking at some long term solution to the silting problem. We have engineers contracted to give us some alternatives.

Also, when I spoke with Anna, I mentioned that this problem would probably reoccur and that she should be prepared to clean the ramp again when additional sediment moves in. This problem occurred last year and
we had to clean the ramp twice before we had some stabilization.

As information, we normally do not close boating access sites because of low water conditions. It will be closed if there is a public safety issue at the site that needs to be addressed before the public can use the site. However, when a boating site is closed, it receives top priority from our crews to reopen the site as soon as possible.

William Boik, Boating Unit
DNR-Parks and Recreation
 
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