MONTICELLO, Ind. - Boaters are facing more dangers on a depleted northwestern Indiana reservoir because the operator of its dam must keep releasing water to protect riverbeds with an endangered species of mussels.
Water levels at Lake Freeman, which is about 20 miles north of Lafayette, are below normal because of a lack of rain, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Some regular boaters aren't venturing out because of the greater danger posed by underwater hazards such as tree stumps, said Gary Creigh, vice president of sales at Tall Timbers Marina.
"With our gas sales and our service, were going to lose substation money if we don't have the month of August that is usually our biggest and hottest month," Creigh said.
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has had to release more water through the hydroelectric Oakdale Dam at the lake's southern end than has been entering the reservoir, utility company spokesman Nick Meyer told Herald Journal.
"The real issue is that there's just not enough water," he said.
NIPSCO faced a similar situation during the drought-ridden summer of 2012 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ordered it to maintain water flow into the Tippecanoe River, which has several beds with federally and state endangered mussels.
Boater Dwight Keller said he hit a rock and it damaged his motor.
"It's very dangerous. If you don't know where you're going you could hurt yourself or other people," Keller said.
Police: Man killed trying to invade ex's home
A woman told police she fatally shot her ex-boyfriend Wednesday morning after he kicked in her door.
Pedestrian struck, killed in crash on east side
A man was dead after being hit by a pickup truck Thursday morning on an east-side roadway.
Senate panel to talk about banning microbeads
A Senate committee is ready to take up discussion on a bill that would prohibit the sale and manufacture of soaps, toiletries and cosmetics…
More than 4K register scooters under new law
More than 4,100 people have registered their motorized scooters under an Indiana law designed to place tighter controls on the vehicles and…
Three residents safe after fire; 2 dogs perish
A group of three roommates made it out safely from a house fire on the northwest side of the city Thursday morning, but they lost two pets.
StormTeam 6 ACTION: Arctic air moves in
It's a StormTeam 6 Action Day. A blast of arctic air is moving in today after snow moved out of the state Wednesday night. We'll…