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ST. MARYS — Residents and boaters near Otterbein will soon have to be on the look out for sunken lines as part of an annual dredge program at Grand Lake St. Marys.
“We will be moving our dredge from the service area to Otterbein next week,” Regional Dredge Supervisor Tom Grabow told The Evening Leader. “I’ll have 7,000 feet of line that will stretch from Otterbein to Rustic Haven. We are looking to keep that within the 300-foot offshore no wake zone.”
The dredge lines will be marked every 50 to 75 yards. Grabow stressed the importance of avoiding the lines as well as paying attention to other obstacles.
“People should stay clear and be careful because some of the depth in that area is only 2 to 3 feet,” Grabow said. “In most areas, people can go over these but there are some areas where the lines will be sunk and then it’s only 1 to 2 feet at that time. So boaters need to use extreme caution.”
Brutus, the state park’s newest dredge, will hit the area first, digging out the channel. Once that is finished, another dredge will pump the channels.
“It will affect Rustic Haven to Southmoor Shores,” Grabow said.
Last week’s wind storm has hindered the dredge program in recent days.
“It was going pretty well,” Grabow said. “We are down two dredges. We have one pumping this week but have had so many problems from the wind storms. Prairie Creek looked like the east bank. It was bad, really bad. We are working our way through the south side to get the channels opened up for the boaters.”
Park Manager Brian Miller said crews are continuing to clear debris from Friday’s storm. The event toppled large trees throughout the park and caused road closures.
“We pretty much have the east end done,” Miller said. “There are just a few small things to pick up and the north side will be done Tuesday. The campground was finished Friday night and we picked up a few small things on Monday.”
The western side of the park needs some work. Miller said crews will soon turn their attention toward that area.
“We still have another good week’s worth of work at the west bank and at Windy Point just using heavy equipment,” Miller said. “West Bank, near the dog park, is closed at this time and will be for the remainder of this week because there are so many trees down.”
Despite the storm and the damage it left, Miller said campers have flocked to the state park.
“This coming up weekend we have 110 sites reserved,” Miller said. “So it’s looking good. We have been seeing people who have been enjoying the whole week here and some who are waiting and doing their vacation this weekend.”