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Thursday, June 12, 2008

High water prompts lake restrictions

--- Beaches remain open

By Donna Lenz Wright/The Week

Rising water following a week of heavy rains has forced officials of four Walworth County lakes to issue slow, no wake restrictions.

Terry Mayer/The Week
A launch closing at Lauderdale Lake is one of the consequences of the heavy rainfall lately.
They include the Lauderdale Lakes chain, Delavan Lake, Whitewater Lake and Rice Lake.

Geneva Lake and Lake Beulah have no restrictions as of last Thursday.

"A slow, no wake is (boat speeds) just fast enough to maintain steerability in a boat--slightly above idle speed," said Scott Mason, chairman of the Lauderdale Lake Management District.

"With the high water throw in, the big boats we have nowadays make huge waves that damage shoreline structures and vegetation," Mason said.

Mason said biological and bacterial content also increases in times of flooding.

"All inland lakes in Walworth County will have higher levels until the waters subside," Mason said.

While there are no plans to restrict swimming in area lakes, people with compromised immune systems, the very young and the very old may want to restrain from swimming until things get back to normal.

While it's an inconvenience for many boaters not to be able to boat as usual right now, the health of the lakes and surrounding lands are worth the sacrifice, Mason said.

On the bright side, Mason said "it makes things very peaceful and tranquil."

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