The Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission agreed last week to take another look at a proposed no-wake zone in the Huddleston area of the lake as well as look into criteria for all no-wake zones going forward.
Andy Thruston, a resident near Eagle’s Roost campground, applied for a no-wake zone earlier this year to cut down on wakes from boaters entering the small cove. TLAC’s navigation committee heard the proposal at its Sept. 20 meeting.
At the meeting, committee members voted to recommend denying the request, citing that it had no public services available at the campground. “That is one of the major criteria,” said navigation committee chair Randy Stow when discussing the proposal at the Dec. 13 TLAC meeting.
That criterion has been used for nearly two decades when deciding on whether no-wake zones should be approved. A vast majority of no-wake zones around the lake are at marinas that provide gas and other services that see increased traffic.
People are also reading…
Other TLAC board members questioned if locations other than ones that provide public services should be considered for no-wake zones. “You get a lot of traffic at a campground too,” said TLAC board member Bob Camicia.
Stow cautioned that easing the criteria could be detrimental in the long run for TLAC. Taking away the public services aspect could lead to an increase in unnecessary no-wake zone applications.
“We would have no-wake applications from every cove on the lake and no means to deny them,” Stow said.
Neil Holthouser, TLAC’s Appalachian Power representative on the board, said traffic at a campground or residential dock is different than a marina. A marina will see a large number of boats from all over the lake enter and leave throughout the day. Residential docks usually only have the boats from those residences enter and leave, he said.
The board ultimately decided in a split 4-3 vote to send the proposal by Eagle’s Roost back to the navigation committee to reconsider. The motion also asked that the navigation committee consider updating the criteria for no-wake zones.
TLAC chairman Lorie Smith emphasized that any review of no-wake zone criteria should consider all proposals going forward and not just this one. “I’m not a fan of making changes to things that is isolated to one implication,” she said. “We need to take the long view on any changes that we make here and make sure there is consistency with other things we are doing.”
“I don’t want us to have knee-jerk reactions to one application,” she said.
The no-wake zone proposal will now return to the navigation committee for a recommendation which will be brought back to the TLAC board next year for a vote. That vote to approve or deny will be sent to the Department of Wildlife Resources for a final decision.