Drought forces more boat ramp closures on Lake Wylie, businesses feeling impacts

Published: Nov. 7, 2016 at 10:15 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 at 5:22 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Low water levels on Lake Wylie continue to force the closure of several boat ramps that provide access to the water.

Monday, York County leaders will close the ramps at Ebenezer Park. Duke Energy also announced that all four ramps at the Allison Creek area will be closed.

It's the second year that ramps have had to be closed because of drought. For people who make a living off the water, profits are also drying up.

"Just the last two weeks alone, we're probably down 50 to 60 percent," said Adam FIllmore with Hunt, Fish, Paddle in Lake Wylie.

Fillmore said he's fielded several calls from people wanting to know if nearby ramps are open.

"We're mainly a, going to the lake, stop in there, or coming from the lake, stopping in there, so if they're not coming and going to the lake, it's definitely difficult for us," Fillmore said.

A handful of people were still launching boats at Ebenezer Park Monday afternoon. The ramps are scheduled to be closed after dark when the park closes.

"Putting the boats in, it's a big problem," said Deonta Gee, who was fishing with a friend.

Gee said they've been fishing off the shoreline without any luck. He's planning to look at other lakes where there is more access for boats.

Two ramps remain open at the Buster Boyd Access Area in York County. Ramps at Nivens Creek near Fort Mill are also available to use.

Lake traffic typically dwindles with colder temperatures, but the weather doesn't scare off everybody.

"I actually really enjoy this time of year, from Alaska, so as you can tell I'm in my t-shirt right now, and this temperature is just perfect for being out on the water," said Rawley Langvardt, who took his family on the boat Monday.

There are plenty of fishing tournaments on Lake Wylie during the fall months. Folks relying on the lake for business are hopeful rain will come soon.

"The bottom line, it hurts. I mean it hurts local gas stations, local restaurants, the guys that rely on people getting gas on the way to the ramp, getting breakfast in the morning," Fillmore said.

Ramps at Copperhead Island were closed by Mecklenburg County. According to Duke Energy, ramps at South Point remain open, but that could change depending on water levels.

Small carry and non-motorized boats will still have access to the lake.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.