28 August 2016: State Boat Launch Rock Cleanup Initiative Finished

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The Boat Launch Rock Cleanup Crew

We had a great turn out for the Boat Launch Rock Cleanup event yesterday with 30 people showing up to move rocks or assist in other ways. A few people unable to move rocks fulfilled other important roles. Everyone contributed in one way or another. The rock moving itself, which was expected to take the better part of 4 hours, was pretty much finished before lunch, in about an hour and a half.

The folks in the group-photo are left to right, front row kneeling: Lucy Norman, Erin Grimshaw and her 3 sons Corey Dey Bishop, Jayden Dey Bishop, and Devon Dey Bishop, Colin Fergusson; Second row: Don Norman, Melissa Palmer-Karas, Alicia Fraser, Mary Gingrow-Shaw, Margaret Fergusson, George Fergusson (not smiling for some reason) Karen Nielsen and Sara Roy; Third row: Dee Ann Grazioso, Barbara Ahern, Bill Donovan, Osmand Karas, Nathan Williams, John Williams, Tom Vigue, Jeff French; Fourth row: Tim Harkins, David Knight, Jack Holland, Randy Wing. Not pictured are Ellis Percy and John Ahern who weren’t involved in the rock moving, and Thomas Gillette and Bruce MacDonald who showed up later when the work was finished.

The work got done, we had a blast, nobody got hurt, and nobody freaked out when a good sized water snake crawled out of the shrinking rock pile and swam off between people’s legs. I caught a brief glimpse of it but wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a picture of it. 

IMG_20150726_083800 (Custom)NRPA regulations stipulate that our rock clearing efforts be limited to a 10′ wide channel. The challenge then was where/how best to locate the channel to maximize the benefit? Originally the plan had been to simply clear a 10′ wide channel straight out from the end of the ramp but that would have left substantial rock piles on either side of it. Since the goal of this effort was to remove a boating hazard, we decided to take advantage of the areas where there weren’t any rocks by angling the channel the left so as to take in all of the larger (and far taller) of the two rock piles.

We were thus able to completely remove the biggest and tallest hazard to boat navigation while still limiting our rock clearing to only a 10′ wide area. By not including rock-free areas in our channel, we ended up with a rock-free channel almost but not quite as wide as the boat ramp itself (which is 12′ wide). The prevailing wind tends to push boats off to the left (east) anyways so this seemed like a better area to concentrate on. It’s certainly way better now than it was before. When the lake level regime included in the Clary Lake Water Level Order is finally implemented, only the biggest boats will have to worry about hitting any rocks, and only then later in the year when the lake has been drawn down the maximum amount of 2 feet. Even then there will be the better part 3′ of water over most of the rocks. Treasurer and Momentum Committee member Mary Gingrow-Shaw who said her husband Ernie Shaw had ruined a new prop on that rockpile some years ago thought removing the taller of the two rock piles was the best approach.

I’ve added 15 pictures from the day to the Spring/Summer 2016 photogallery. Here they are:

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for authorizing the work. They filed (and picked up the cost of) the Permit By Rule application with DEP in a very efficient and timely manner.

I would also like to thank the Chair of our newly-formed Momentum Committee Erin Grimshaw as well as the other Committee members for their help in organizing this event. The Momentum Committee will be meeting again in early September to discuss ideas for programs and events for the coming year. I’ll post a notice about the meeting here.

6 thoughts on “28 August 2016: State Boat Launch Rock Cleanup Initiative Finished

  1. George Fergusson Post author

    I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Dee Ann Grazioso (pictured in the group photo above) to Clary Lake. She recently bought Howard Nickerson’s property up on the east side of the northern end of the great meadow next to Sue & Bill McKeen’s property. It’s an absolutely beautiful spot, all it needs is some water! Dee was our first 2016/2017 member this year.

  2. Malcolm Burson

    What a fabulous event, that we were sorry to miss. Kudos to everyone for hard work, smart thinking about the best way to carry out the project, and particularly to Erin for providing the Momentum for this and whatever is the next exciting activity.

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