Risks on lake are year round
The purpose of this letter is to clarify various issues and concerns regarding the use of "bubblers" to prevent ice damage to boat docks at Buckeye Lake during the winter. When I met with your reporter and a Buckeye Lake State Park representative at the lake on Monday, February 12, I specificallystated that the use of small bubblers or water circulators was a reasonable and effective way to prevent winter ice damage to boat docks at the lake. I did not request or ask that the use of bubblers be prohibited at the lake. I did comment that bubblers/water circulators should be used in a reasonable manner to protect docks, while limiting as much as possible the adverse effects on lake ice conditions.
It is not necessary to have the Buckeye Lake geyser basin (aka Yellowstone Park east) with some bubblers and water circulator geysers shooting water one to three feet or higher above the lake level, and adversely affecting lake ice conditions hundreds of feet away from the dock areas intended to be protected. Areas of resulting thin ice conditions can easily be hidden by a fresh snowfall, which has happened in the last several weeks. Not everyone using the lake in the winter is familiar with local ice conditions.
As shown on your front page article on February 17, Frozen Fun, Buckeye Lake became a "haven for winter sports" this year. When Buckeye Lake had unusual smooth black ice about 15 years ago, I ice skated all the way from West Bank to Journal Island and back, and I am quite familiar with lake ice conditions over many years.
There are safety risks at Buckeye Lake during the summer season as well, to include several fatalities in recent years. Comments such as stay off the lake or go to an "ice rink" are not helpful, or you may as well tell people to stay off the lake at all times of the year. A much better approach is to be aware of and manage safety risks at all times of the year, in a reasonable manner that is considerate of your neighbors, and that would be for everyone's benefit regardless of the season of the year.
Ray Karlsberger Canal Winchester & Millersport