Low water levels could increase risk to boaters - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Low water levels could increase risk to boaters

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

Low water levels caused by current drought conditions could increase risks for boaters putting in or taking vessels out of the water, and possibly cause damage to boats.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), boaters should use extra caution at boat ramps and in the water. Some ramps may not be able to accommodate the angle some boats need to enter the water due to low levels. The low water levels are also making transportation difficult in some areas where boaters have not had problems in the past.

"Water levels in some areas are very low, which makes it difficult to navigate even the smallest and lightest of watercraft," IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez said. "We have started to receive calls from boaters who have been in areas where they have had no trouble in the past but are now becoming stranded because of the shallow water."

The IDNR is encouraging boaters to use common sense and their best judgment when on the water because conditions can change rapidly.

For more information on the drought in Illinois, visit www.drought.illinois.gov.

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