Local News

Recommendations Aim to Ease Crowding At Area Lakes

Posted April 30, 2001 9:51 a.m. EDT

— The people who manage three of the largest lakes in the area say the lakes cannot hold any more boats.

Jordan Lake,Falls LakeandKerr Lakeare at capacity on summer weekends and holidays. "I'd like to see another launch put in," says Jamie Stoy as he waits in line for his chance at a boat ramp on Falls Lake.

That is not in the plan. The agencies that run Falls Lake say their waters are full.

"That we can certainly add more numbers, not a problem. But if we do add those additional numbers, the quality of the experience will decline," says Steve Brown of theArmy Corps of Engineers.

Lake managers are going for quality. They want to cap the number of boats that can get into each lake.

A two-year study by the Army Corps of Engineers makes several recommendations, including the boat cap.

"The more parking spaces there are for trailers, the more boats there are on the water," says Brown. "To control the number of boats on the water, you would need to control the number of parking spaces for trailers."

Managers also want to prevent development alone shorelines. They say a proposed marina on Falls Lake will not be built.

Managers also want more boat safety courses where people can learn lake rules and the importance of wearing a life preserver.

The lakes, crowded with boats and jet skis, are patrolled and boaters rely on common courtesy. However, there is a limit to how much Falls Lake and others can juggle.

As new waves of people move to the area, the lake managers would rather see a traffic jam on land than on the sea.

Photographer:Gil Hollingsworth