Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- Rochester area boaters looking to take advantage of a warm, sunny weekend may have a tough time getting their boats in and out of the water.

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A news release from the DNR says the southern third of Minnesota has experienced below-average rainfall in June and July which has caused lake levels to recede. The receding levels expose more of the boat launch to the surface.

NWS La Crosse
NWS La Crosse
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Officials say this can make launching and retrieving boats more difficult because trailers on some lakes may have to go beyond the boat ramp to launch and retrieve. Another hazard officials say to watch out for is holes below the water’s surface caused by boaters power-loading their vessels onto trailers. Boaters backing their trailers into the water may inadvertently drive into the hole.

“It’s difficult to get a trailer unstuck from a prop-wash hole,” said Nancy Stewart, DNR water recreation consultant. "Also, in the area past the hole, there is often a mound of sand or rock deposited by power loading. Boats can run aground on this material and not be able to get to deep water.” The DNR is offering these tips for boaters looking to launch in lakes with no-longer-submerged ramps: 

  • Check the ramp, especially the firmness of the gravel at the end of the concrete ramp and the water depth.
  • Use smaller watercraft or a different waterbody if the ramp you normally use is too shallow.
  • Expect delays at public access sites and be patient with boaters who are having difficulty launching.
  • Watch for obstructions in the water near the access, like large boulders or tree stumps.

The DNR is also asking boaters to not power load their boats regardless of a lake’s water levels.

attachment-Play 8 Rochester Area Golf Courses (1)
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