Low water levels causing concern at Delta Lake

With the recent higher temperatures, lots of humidity and lack of rain it's causing problems along Delta Lake State Park.

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 7:15 PM
Updated: Jul 12, 2018 7:17 PM

AVA, NY-- With the recent higher temperatures, lots of humidity and lack of rain it's causing problems along Delta Lake State Park.

"In the past 40 years that I've been here we've never had lake levels this low at this time of the year," said Jonathan Bronson, an employee at AOK Campground and Marina, located on the north side of the lake. "Lake levels right now are generally not until the mid-part of August before it's this low."

According to WKTV meteorologist Reid Kisselback, the last significant amount of rain was July 2, when the area received about 1/4 an inch. The lack of rainfall and humidity has played a part in the lower water levels at the lake.

Bronson said boaters have been damaged because the water levels have gotten so low.

"I had nine tows this week from people hitting bottom," he said. "Last year I think I had two all year and just in the course of three or four days I've had nine so it's definitely an issue."

One of those boaters, Paul Johnson of Ava. Johnson's boat propeller was damaged during a recent fishing trip and had to be replaced for around $200.

"I used to be able to get around and take the kids out and go fishing, but now it's gotten so low, anywhere you go there's piles of rocks all over," Johnson said.

Bronson said it's also difficult to see the bottom of the lake because it tends to be murky. He monitors the levels frequently and on Thursday the water level was around 45 feet deep. Last year around this time Bronson said the water levels were at 49 feet. If the water drops to 44 feet he said some boaters will not have enough water to launch.

"We're actually floating in the middle of the lake," Bronson said, while sitting on a party barge boat. "We are in 2 feet of water so if somebody comes out here and they want to launch at the state park, or launch at our place and they're doing 40 miles an hour in the middle of the lake, there's nothing showing you that 'hey here's bottom,' so you need to be careful."

Bronson said anyone using boats show always pack a working cell phone or marine radio on board and visual distress signals like a flare.

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