DNR: Consider removing boats early this summer

Low water levels on Prior Lake in July. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to consider removing their boats early this year in areas where the water levels are low due to the drought. 

The DNR said as water levels continue to drop, boaters are experiencing significant issues with launching and retrieving boats. Crews have been repairing and extending ramps at many boat launches to help get boats in and out in low water conditions. However, not much can be done to fix boat ramps on naturally shallow lakes or those that have been damaged by power loading.

Boaters are advised to use caution and check the ramp and water levels before launching.

The DNR is encouraging waterfront homeowners who have seasonally docked boats and other watercraft to monitor water levels frequently and keep an eye on the available boat removal options for their body of water. If options are limited, boaters should consider removing their watercraft earlier than usual, before conditions worsen.

The DNR said boaters should also be aware of new obstructions in the water, such as rocks, stumps and sand bars that may not typically be an issue but are now creating hazards due to low water levels.