Boaters fret over logs, limbs

June 2011 News

SWEET HOME - Steve and Danielle Yarbrough of Lebanon are proud of their recently purchased pontoon boat.

Although it's five years old, the 20-foot-long Sun Tracker looks brand spankin' new. And they plan to keep it that way.

That's why the couple are concerned about the amount of wood floating in Foster Reservoir, one of their favorite  fishing and boating spots. The debris also is and clogging boat ramps at Sunnyside, Calkins Point and Gedney Creek.

"We have camped at Sunnyside since Monday," Steve Yarbrough said Thursday. "We moored the boat in the county slips. We had to dodge the bigger stuff. You can't go fast for fear of hitting something. We paid to park our camper and to moor the boat. It would be nice to not have to worry about stuff in the water."

His wife added, "If we wanted to fish, we had to troll slowly or set anchor. You wouldn't want to do anything that involves speed right now."

Heavier than usual rainfall and a long spring forced the Army Corps of Engineers to raise and lower the reservoir's water levels several times. Every spring there is wood to be removed from the reservoir, and cleanup is usually accomplished shortly after Memorial Weekend, the start of Oregon's boating season.

"We have taken about 60 dump truck loads of materials out of the reservoir," Corps spokeswoman Amy Echols said. "We are reminding the public that we rem

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