KLPW – Boating and Related Improvements

Archive for KLPW – Boating and Related Improvements

HIGH WATER RECEDING – COME ON TO KERR LAKE & CAMP!

The water is receding along the shores of Kerr Lake, hitting a high at a little over 305 feet above mean sea level, with full pool normal being at 300 ft.  This morning the water, which is rapidly receding was less than 304.5 ft.

That said, US Army Corps of Engineers reports no significance loss of campsite use due to water as does Virginia State Parks.  The seven NC State Recreation Areas are closer to the water with less sloping, so a few campsites are impacted by the two weather systems that dumped huge amounts of rain into Kerr Lake and its sister systems.  So only a few exception campsites are covered by water which makes it a great weekend to camp at Kerr.

10-9-15 hibernia water
Photo of a few water covered sites by Kerr Lake Park Watch – October 9, 2015

In their Tuesday meeting, US Army Corps of Engineers staffers told their stakeholders and affiliates that managing the flow through during this weather event has been taxing, ” I haven’t resorted to antacids, but those of us involved have lost some sleep.” said Ashley Hatchell, a water resource manager with the Corps.  The system got pounded by two wet weather systems with Hurrican Joaquin off the shore of North Carolina.

Kerr Lake USACE Project Manager Michael Womack sent Kerr Lake Park Watch some charts for campgrounds, boat ramps and more and how they are impacted at various water levels over 300 feet.  “Most of the numbers were compiled based on visual observation and discussion with the managing entities,” said Womack.

It would be a good idea for you, as a Kerr Lake user, to review these charts.  Many campers observe the lake level and make records and know whether to visit their favorite site or not based on water levels.

CAMPSITES

USEABLE CAMPSITES AT VARIOUS WATER LEVELS USACE 1

BEACHES

USEABLE BEACHES AT VARIOUS WATER LEVELS USACE 1

BOAT RAMPS

USEABLE BOAT RAMPS AT VARIOUS WATER LEVELS USACE 1

MARINAS (Prepared before Rudd’s Creek Marina was built)

USEABLE MARINAS AT VARIOUS WATER LEVELS USACE 1

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety

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KERR LAKE PARK WATCH WARNS TO WATCH WATER – LAKE IS DOWN!

Writing this notice may help bring rain to Kerr Lake, but the water level or lack thereof bears watching if you’re planning a camping or day trip. The water is approaching the 295-ft level, which is down 5 feet from the normal full pool level of 300 feet (above mean sea level).

At Kerr Lake a vertical changed of 5 feet in water level can mean that the shoreline can be moved horizontally by a few feet or hundreds of feet.

The main concern for campers and boaters is not the shoreline, it’s the depth and lengths of boat ramps. Some ramps have already been closed.

Although some parks will close at the end of October, there are still many good camping and boating weeks left. You can actually check the hourly level of Kerr Lake tat the US Army Corps of Engineers updates every hour at the link below and lake level info is always displayed at the top right of the website, www.kerrlake.info.

Kerr Lake Info scrnsht2m

If you’re interested you can also go directly to the hour by hour listing by the US Army Corps of Engineers or see at summary of water levels at this page, http://epec.saw.usace.army.mil/.

There’s rain in the forecast, but for now we’re asking, “How low will she go?” Just be smart and check your water level…that’s our advice.

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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TEXTING ON BOATS IS A “NO-NO” ALONG WITH “YOU’RE IN MY WAY” BOATING HABIT

Most campers and folks out for a picnic at Kerr Lake also enjoy some form of boating or jet-skiing.  Thankfully, there are not to many accidents to report, but near misses due to things like texting, not paying attention, and not following boating rules, are increasing.  Daily Dispatch reporter Sarah Mansur caught up with Frank Timberlake, Lead Public Affairs for Kerr Lake Park Watch to get his views on Kerr Lake boater safety.  Here’s a scan of the story.  BE SURE TO CLICK ON PIC TO ENLARGE TO READ.

 

Aug 2015 - Hen Daily Disp - Water Safety at Kerr

 

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Water Safety

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JUNE AT KERR LAKE IS GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – WATCH THE MOVIE!

A lot of time and space on KLPW is taken up with public issues, governmental policies and concerns and the like.  So we thought we’d share with you FIVE (5) MINUTES of pure family fun from Hibernia State Recreation Area and beyond with a video from KLPW member families including the Baileys and the Matthews.  The video is shot and produced by Joshua Bailey and we want to warn you;  there are portions of this video that are a little “drone.”  With that said click on this link, and even though we can’t believe that June is gone, and enjoy the beauty and see the fun that makes all of us love Kerr Lake and work so very hard on Kerr Lake Park Watch.

 

 

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, Uncategorized

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Steele Creek Marina Thanks Military & Customers with BBQ & a BEAT for Memorial Day

We the people…who use Kerr Lake appreciate the commitment of all the companies who provide goods and services for us. And as we at Kerr Lake Park Watch know, all the different kinds of companies and organizations that sell us, serve us and sometimes save us, well, that’s a bunch of businesses because it takes a lot to serve the more than one and a half million people who boat, fish, ski, hike, walk, run, camp, picnic and cook and more at, on and in Kerr Lake.

 DSC00831 (1024x768)

One of the newer businesses that’s really trying to make a mark with new and improved services, products and rentals is Steele Creek Marina and Campground.  It’s really good to see Charles and Jill Robinson, the new proprietors of Steele Creek Marina stepping up and out with new services for their customers and for celebrating special times like Memorial Day.  The marina has a real family feeling to it now.

We thought you’d like a two-minute look at this special celebration of patriotism and customer appreciation.  Here’s the link:  Steele Creek Customer Appreciation & Memorial Day

 

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, Uncategorized

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KERR LAKE PARK WATCH ASKS REP. BASKERVILLE TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF STEELE CREEK MARINA

Kerr Lake Park Watch today asked Vance County Representative Nathan Baskerville to intervene on behalf of a Vance County business with the State Construction Office and the State Property Office regarding new and increasing demands for improvements at Steele Creek Marina, the latest being electrical requirements.

“We’re asking Representative Baskerville to investigate the excessive demands and requirements being placed on the lessee of the Steele Creek Marina.  It’s like a vendetta and it needs to cease,” said KLPW spokesman Frank Timberlake, “State Parks is happy, the Corps is happy, but these other guys, well, that’s a different story.

“We’re upgrading everything as hard as we can,” said marina operator Charles Robinson. “We’ve been fixing and adding on every day.  But even our very experienced electrical engineers are asking why certain demands are being made of us.  They want to know who we’ve ticked off in Raleigh.”

The rub may go back to when Kerr Lake Park Watch exposed a contract for the marina being awarded by the state property office that did not pay the previous operator a fraction of the worth of the tangible assets.  Working with local citizens and legislators, KLPW pushed for the State of North Carolina to see the previous owner properly paid and to see that the Steele Creek contract went to a qualified operator.

Timberlake commented, “I personally know that yesterday, May 4, 2015, Charles Robinson was under water most of the day shoring up anchors and other dock attachments.  He’s been in the boat and boat repair businesses for years.  If it’s in the water or on it, Charles Robinson knows it.  His marina is now open seven days a week.  We are seeing constant improvements and services never offered before.  When has that ever existed?  And, he’s a family guy transforming the marina into family fun and services. You can even rent boats, kayaks and paddle boards now.”

DSCN0168-1024x768

The KLPW leader went on to say that he also knows that many possible improvements in the seven NC State Recreation Areas on Kerr Lake are hampered even halted by excessive regulation by the state property office and the state construction office. “One guy told me that those people have ordered him to change drawings for a simple project seven times.  Not once have they ever set foot on the property, they just rule autonomously and blindly from Raleigh, and it’s got to stop,” said Timberlake.

According to Timberlake, that arrogant, insufferable, if not vengeful attitude, by those two offices is why KLPW asked Rep. Baskerville to intervene and investigate for himself. “We’ve got nearly 1000 campsites around the shores of Kerr Lake and there are a lot of lake users who are dependent on those marinas.  Those marinas are big business for Vance County and anywhere one is located.  That’s why we have asked for Baskerville’s help.  This should be right up his alley as he claims to be a ‘people’s man’ and the little businessman is getting squashed by the government for which he pays.” Timberlake added, “We hope that Representative Baskerville can get Charles and Steele Creek some well-deserved breathing room.  The state has never put a dime into that marina, not a dime.  I ought to know.  I helped write the first lease ever when I served on a state parks board. “

Since Robinson got a short lease 13 instead of 25 years, due to the NC and US Army Corps of Engineers leasing window, maybe the State of North Carolina decided to force him to fix up Steele Creek and if he doesn’t make it, so what.   Timberlake thinks, “Yes, and maybe those guys in the state property office already have the next lessee picked out.  Well, it won’t happen in the dark, not on our watch.”

 

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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COUNTY LINE PARK – NEW WILDLIFE RESOURCES PIER & BOAT RAMP NEAR COMPLETION

COUNTY LINE PARK – NEW WILDLIFE RESOURCES PIER & BOAT RAMP NEAR COMPLETION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs Kerr Lake Park Watch is focusing on sharing and showing improvements and new construction on any and all public properties around the shores of Kerr Lake, a new project on the eastern bank of the North Carolina side of Kerr Lake is nearing completion.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is building a new two-lane boat ramp and parking lot at County Line Park which straddles the Vance-Warren County lines.

The really hot feature of the construction project is a brand new fishing pier complete with places for leaning rods for different height fishermen and even a few benches.

Kerr Lake Park Watch member and good photographer Mike Sawaya captured these photos of the new fishing pier at County Line today.  Though the pier and the boat docks are mostly finished, work must now be completed on the parking lot.

Whether you are one of the nearly 300 members of Kerr Lake Park Watch or not (and why aren’t you?) feel free to share your pictures of the good and the bad you see at Kerr Lake.  Just indicate whether to use your name or not in the email with the pictures you send to: info@kerrlakeparkwatch.org!

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Camping Safety

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HIGH WATER AT KERR DAMPENING 25% OF NC CAMPSITES FOR MEMORIAL WEEKEND

HIGH WATER AT KERR DAMPENING 25% OF NC CAMPSITES FOR MEMORIAL WEEKEND

 

NORTH CAROLINA SIDE OF KERR LAKE HIT HARDEST WITH HIGH WATER CAMPSITE CLOSURES FOR MEMORIAL WEEKEND – Spawning Striped Bass in Roanoke River Get Nod/Blame for Slow Release

The 306’ water level at Kerr Lake is anticipated to lower to only about 305-feet above sea level for this weekend, the Memorial Day holiday.  In a testy, if not often heated meeting yesterday, the US Army Corps of Engineers took repeated questions and some direct hits from downstream farmers, the Roanoke River Basin Association, Kerr Lake Park Watch, other groups and citizens for varied concerns about the current high water.


A rain system entering the watershed last Thursday dumped as much as six inches of rain and was pretty much on target to be right over the areas of Kerr and its tributaries.   It caused a swift increase in the lake level from about 301.5’ to almost 307’ in the past few days.  That fact had people from various groups including Kerr Lake Park Watch asking the Corps in yesterday’s meeting, “Why is there a reduced flow of 15,000 CFS instead of 20,000 or 35,000 CFS (cubic feet per second of water flow)? The answer given is that it is a critical time for Striped Bass making their way from the ocean up the Roanoke River to spawn.  If the water flow is too great, the fish don’t reproduce well.

While that answer may appease some, it’s not the best of news for campers at Kerr Lake.  “We understand that the lake is a complex entity for flood control, power generation, farming considerations, recreation, saving Virgin Cyprus trees and spawning fish,” commented Kerr Lake Park Watch Public Affairs Lead, Frank Timberlake, “But it’s tough, especially on the North Carolina side to tell 25% of the campers with reservations that they don’t have a spot for the first big camping holiday of the year, and it’s a site they had already reserved. Being four feet over the Corps’ guide curve because of striped bass is hard to explain to those folks; I’d certainly hate to try to explain it.  Kerr Lake is its own Geo-Tourism area and we have to continue to make sure that fact ranks and ranks high with lake decision-makers.

Bryce Fleming, Superintendent of the seven NC Kerr Lake State Recreation areas told KLPW today, “We have 150 campsites park-wide that will be unusable this weekend based on the current prediction.  The call center has a list of all impacted sites and is contacting all impacted campers via telephone and/or email.  The most recent lake level prediction for the beginning of Memorial Day weekend is about 305’ and continuing to recede slowly afterwards. That said, if campers want to check to make sure their sites are not flooded, they can call the park office at (252) 438-7791.”  Fleming added, “I know the timing of this flood is frustrating for Kerr Lake campers.  It is frustrating for us too because, up until 5/16, we were looking at having one of the best Memorial Day weekends in years.  I am updating the ALERT on our website today to make it current, www.ncparks.gov.”

Campgrounds under the operation of the US Army Corps of Engineers on the Virginia side of Kerr Lake have fared much better because typically, they are on higher ground.  “We have only about 15 campsites off our grid,” said Michael Womack, the OPS MGR for the Corps at Kerr.   â€œWe have contacted our campers that are impacted by the flooding of the sites listed above.  We have been able to accommodate all of our camping reservations for the weekend. If people have additional questions concerning Corps operated facilities they can call the Visitor Assistance Center at (434) 738-6143. We are hoping that we will be at 305 by Friday/Saturday but we will have to continue monitor inflows and adjust as needed.”  As the lake level lowers public areas affected return to public access and use.

Yesterday’s Corps meeting of the water management group provided some information that some swim areas, beaches and boat ramps on the Virginia side are closed.  The two Virginia State Parks on Kerr Lake are apparently not affected.  For the NC side, Fleming also confirmed that boat ramps, flooded bridges and that information will be updated on the park’s website.

Meanwhile, 25% of those campers who have plans for Kerr Lake on the North Carolina side will need to rethink what their family and friends will be for the upcoming holiday weekend.

 

FIND OUT WHEN WE DO…www.facebook.com/kerrlakeparkwatch or www.kerrlakeparkwatch.org.

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety

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NEW LESSEE FOR STEELE CREEK TO BE NAMED SOON – DOA GETS SMACK FOR LOUSY COMMUNICATIONS WITH PUBLIC

“We had a good and purposeful meeting today between state senators and representatives with the NC Department of Administration (DOA) on sorting out the issues to get a new lease in place for the Steele Creek Marina at Townsville,” said State Senator Chad Barefoot who let DOA and others quickly know that he was there to represent KLPW and many more constituency groups and interested citizens.
While the legislators believe that DOA and the State Property Office  are working in the best interests of the docking and boating public, they did admonish the agencies for poor and sometimes non-existent communications with constituency groups like KLPW and concerned citizens .  DOA promised better communications immediately.
Details are forthcoming on KLPW’s blog and Facebook page when a final agreement is hammered out and a new lessee is named.
Groups like KLPW, RRBA and The Vance County Tourism Authority want to see things like expanded services and automated fueling.

Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Similar Circumstances/Situations at other Locations

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Mid-August View on Occoneechee Marina Shows Lots of Empties

At the peak of summer, a lot of empty spaces, more commonly called boat slips, remain empty at the Occoneechee State Park Marina on Kerr Lake at Clarksville.  Having viewed the marina about a month ago, KLPW found that most of the boats at the docks seem to be longer term rentals as most showed up again in last week’s photos.



Summer camping, especially during the week, is usually more sparse at Occoneechee State Park.  Although waterfront from many vantage points, the park is a non-swimming park primarily due to steep and very rocky shorelines.  Because of that, many campers were excited as the marina was being developed but soon lost that excitement.


Steep rental prices, which many overnight campers find prohibitive if not offensive, may be the cause of so many vacancies in the second year operation.  The overnight rate for docking is $36, nearly $10 over the nightly camping fee for a family.  Yearly rental which ranges from $1,200 to $1,750 is more in line with other marinas on Kerr and nearby lakes.

Kerr Lake Park Watch has gone on record as opposed to the excessively high overnight rates because of its direct affect on campers. Several campers interviewed last week noted that they have boats and that they keep them on trailers or do not bring them because of what they consider exorbitant marina overnight rates.  One camper, who requested his name be withheld said “he would rather rot” than pay the marina slip fee.

The marina, in its second year of operation, was built with a price tag of around $1.5 million.




Posted in: KLPW - Boating and Related Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park

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