A View from the Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 8/25/98.

This past summer boat traffic appears to have increased from previous years. I wondered if it was my imagination or if more boats were on the lake. In particular, pontoons and personal water craft seem to always be on the lake. The only way for me to know was to count the boats around Lake Koronis and compare the results to those my children and I counted in August 1991.

In my nonscientific count I divided the boats into the following categories: speed boats, fishing boats, pontoons, personal water craft, paddle boats, canoes, sail boats, kayaks, and zodiacs. Boats that were visible from the lake, either on lifts, tied to docks, pulled up on shore, or leaning against garages, were tallied. Many people may store their boats in garages or boathouses and thus these would not be included in the count. Boats that were out on the water were counted as we passed them. We went on a mid-week day morning hoping to catch most of the boats at their docks.

The following is a chart of our informal survey of the boats on Lake Koronis:

Type of boat: 1991 - 1998
Speed boat: 230 - 270
Fishing boat: 318 - 267
Pontoon: 61 - 88
Personal water craft: 20 - 47
Paddle boat: 43 - 95
Canoe: 34 - 59
Sail boat: 40 - 34
Kayak: 0 - 3
Zodiac: 1 - 1
TOTAL: 747 - 864

When trying to distinguish between a speed boat and a fishing boat or a speed boat and a pontoon, my children and I voted on the boat in question. The majority ruled. As unscientific as this may seem, I felt confident that we were counting as accurately as we could without contacting owners to determine kinds of boats. For example, some of the newer boats look like pontoons from the front with their large sun decks and look like speed boats from the back. We counted these as speed boats.

My observation of pontoons and personal water craft always on the lake appears to be justified. Both categories of boats increased significantly from 1991. Actually, I was surprised that we only counted 47 personal water craft. On some weekends it seems as if that many are in and out of the bay near our cabin.

The number of paddle boats on Lake Koronis more than doubled in number in seven years. Their relatively low cost must be attractive to lake dwellers. I hadnít noticed a large increase of paddle boats on the lake probably because when people use this type of boat they stay close to their own shoreline.

Nonmotorized boats on the lake numbered about 191, which is less than thirty percent of the total number. Just think if this number could be increased, the amount of pollution into the lake could be decreased.

In seven years the boat population has only increased approximately 13.5 percent or just about 17 boats per year. Except on busy holiday weekends, the boat traffic seems manageable. Koronis residents happily use their motorized and nonmotorized boats to gain a view from the lake.

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