Low-lake levels, trees causing problems for boaters on Table Rock Lake

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:38 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Lake levels have dropped to the lowest summer levels in the last few summers.

Lake officials say boaters need extra caution, especially if unfamiliar with this lake. The water level is low enough now that trees are starting to show just under the surface.

Tow Boat U.S. Manager Andrew Fennema says it was a busy weekend on Table Rock. He was in the middle of a tow when he got a call from a family that had hit a tree, and their boat was taking on water. These boaters were in a ski spot that most would feel was okay.

In addition to the lake starting to show trees, boaters are seeing gravel bars and islands that they haven’t seen in a while. Fennema says the last few years, normal lake levels have been in the 918-920 range. It is in the 913′s. After getting the family to safety, Fennema returned to do his scanning. He says he found a lot of trees in 30 to 40 feet of water, with the trees only five to eight feet below.

“When you are going to a new lake like this, it’s a good thing to get onto a paper map or even a chart map online,” said Fennema. “Looking at the area and seeing how the area lays out. An easy way is going to Google Earth. It’ll show you some really shallow spots because of the coloration on the water.”

Fennema says he also encourages boaters to have extra life jackets on board and a working cell phone in case of an emergency like this.

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