It's the time of year a lot of boaters on Lake Nipissing look forward to...the long weekend and the unofficial start to summer.
But Mother Nature has other plans this year.
Increasing water levels of Lake Nipissing and the Sturgeon River prompted West Nipissing to close all municipally controlled boat launches.
"Municipal Boat Launch Closures remain in effect for Sturgeon Falls, Cache Bay, Verner, and Lavigne," says a municipal update. "With the long weekend approaching, we understand this may be inconvenient for some, but these closures are necessary to protect shoreline properties. We will continue to monitor conditions and will reassess boat launch access before Friday."
Current municipal boat launch closures:
- Marina Minnehaha Bay
- Sturgeon River House Museum
- Holditch Street in Sturgeon Falls
- Cache Bay (Both Municipal Launches)
- St-Jean Municipal Launch
- Lavigne Municipal Launch
"Boaters are reminded that if operating a vessel on any of these waterways that they should be doing so without causing a wake," said Police Chief Ray St Pierre. "There will be increased enforcement of the Sturgeon River and Lake Nipissing over the following days."
St. Pierre also cautioned boaters that with the fast-moving river comes fast-moving debris that can cause damage to vessels. "Swift water responses or rescues can also be delayed due to the limited resources so we are urging operators to use extreme caution and good common sense."
North Bay spokesman Gord Young says this city's launches remain open but cautions boaters to be careful along shorelines as a boat's wake could damage property.
West Nipissing residents in low-lying areas experiencing flooding should be taking precautions and should consider leaving their homes if it is unsafe to stay. Motorists are reminded that it is an offence to travel along any portion of a roadway that is closed.
Meanwhile, Transport Canada lifted the order restricting navigation in the Muskoka region including:
- Lake Muskoka
- North and South Branches of the Muskoka River
- Moon River