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Boaters urged to use caution to avoid scour holes when loading and unloading

  • 8/19/2021 1:28:00 PM
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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa - Iowa’s drought is impacting boaters on some of Iowa’s premier natural lakes.

Boaters powerloading onto trailers are creating scour holes at the end of many boat ramps on Big Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, Clear Lake and other popular natural lakes across north Iowa. Combined with low water conditions, these scour holes are causing issues with loading and unloading larger watercraft, like pontoons, and longer pleasure boats.

“We’re seeing longer trailers drop into these scour holes and ruin the axels due to the low water. If this happens, boaters should offload the boat to lighten the load before attempting to pull the trailer out of the scour hole,” said Greg Harson, district law enforcement supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources covering northwest Iowa. “Boaters can help prevent these scour holes by using the winch to pull the boat onto the trailer, rather than the motor.”

Until the water levels return to normal, Harson advised boaters to use caution when loading and unloading their boats.