Reservoir Levels Rise As Rain Eases Drought Conditions
The summer drought has taken it's toll on Indiana's crops, but it's not just farmers who were affected by the drop in water levels. A lawn watering ban meant homeowners couldn't keep their grass green and boaters and fisherman were forced to adapt when local reservoirs began drying up.
Recent rains have started bringing water levels back to normal and Lt. Bill Browne with Indiana's Dept. of Natural Resources, says it's just in time for the end of the boating and fishing season. Lt. Browne said the state's reserviors aren't as crowded now as they are during the peak summer months and he encourages boaters to get on the water. "I want to tell everybody that you're missing a great opportunity to really enjoy a reservoir right now. It gets a little crowded in the summertime but now's a great opportunity to get out there and boat these reservoirs."
Browne said the summer drought did keep some folks out of the reservoirs, because some beaches were closed and boat ramps were dry, but overall the drought did not have a negative impact on local fish, "I actually read a report from our fisheries biologist that they didn't see that there was much effect to the fish and they were continuing to monitor the situation It was obviously a tough time for those fish to adapt, however they are very adaptable."
Browne said the drop in boat traffic helped make this summer one of the safest seasons ever. "To date we only have two boating fatalities for 2012. That's compared to 11 last year. So our guys are doing a great job of patroling and keeping our waterways safe."
Browne said this year's drought was bad, but not unprecedented. "We had some trouble in 1988 and '90 I believe, we had a real serious drought. However it seems that this year we've had more attention to it than we've had in the past."