Changing horsepower limit for Charles Mill Lake is not as simple as it sounds

November 2010 News

I am writing about the proposed increase in the horsepower limit for boat motors on Charles Mill Lake. A petition for this was submitted to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft, with a significant number of people wanting it raised from under 10 to 30.

My family has had a cottage/home of this lake for close to 50 years. I have lived full-time on the lake for almost 40 years.

Recently the ODNR, Division of Watercraft, held a public meeting at Pleasant Hill for interested parties to voice their opinions. The biggest complaint seemed the raising of the horsepower for all boats. Pontoons over 20 feet long could use the extra horsepower for safety reasons. When the lake has a windy day, the larger boats sometimes have problems maneuvering their crafts.

Charles Mill already has some exceptions -- houseboats can have larger motors, the marina has boats with larger motors and the sailing club has boats with larger motors.

One complaint was that the unique charm of the lake would be shattered because the higher horsepower would ruin the peace and quiet of the lake. No one mentioned the shotgun blasts that occur every morning when the sun comes up. It was mentioned that profound environmental changes would occur, such as shoreline erosion. The regulatory coordinator for the ODNR Division of Watercraft indicated that with more horsepower, boats would plane faster and actually reduce the wake a boat would make, thus less shoreline erosion. Shoreline erosion occurs every fall and spring because the lake is lowered and raised, not because boats are going fast.


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