New boating rules in certain areas of Grand Lake

New boating rules in certain areas of Grand Lake

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer and boaters flock to Grand Lake for one last weekend on the water. But this weekend, new regulations are in place for certain areas.

Many of the owners of the boats docked at the Honey Creek Marina have new rules to follow if they sail into Woodard Hollow.

“Woodard Hollow, there are several places around the lake like that, that are really popular for people to just to kind of go get off the main channel of the lake, and just kind of park and get some sun and raft up and just let the kids swim in the water there off the back of the boat,” says Justin Alberty of the Grand River Dam Authority.

“It’s just a good place to have a good boating weekend. However, its gotten so big with the number of boats that go in there that it can be dangerous. And not everyone is an experienced boater, especially on busy weekends,” says Larry Johnson, a boat owner who frequents the cove.

Following requests from the public, the GRDA developed new rules for the popular cove. The regulations are similar to those that have been successfully enforced in nearby Duck Creek. Changes in speed are expected to help maintain the nearby docks and create a safer environment and will mainly affect larger boats.

“Watching out for the public obviously, the people that are in the water, watching out for the structures nearby and really just as you would in a school zone, just take your time and use precaution in those areas,” continues Alberty.

The new rules state that boats that are wider than 8.5 feet and longer than 30 feet will have to travel at idle speeds so they don’t create a large wake that will disturb smaller boats.

And although it affects them, many boat owners are in favor of the changes.

“Putting some additional rules on the lake I think is appropriate. And for us locals here at Grand Lake, I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m glad they did it.”

The rules went into effect at the end of August and this is the first weekend they are being enforced.