The Tonto National Forest reopening of Canyon Lake Feb. 9 was tempered by boater safety warnings
Tonto National Forest officials have announced that Canyon Lake will be re-opened to recreational users, but with strong safety warnings for boaters.
"Due to recent flooding, the lake has stirred-up sediment and there are many floating logs throughout the lake," advised Art Wirtz, Mesa district ranger.
"It's pretty risky for boaters right now and we are discouraging boating use. Boaters risk motor burn-out, due to the hig sediment load.
"The Canyon Lake Marina has already burned up two of their motors due to this situation. We are hoping for some high winds to push the logs to shore where we can remove them."
Temporary access restrictions to Canyon Lake were in effect during the SRP drawdown which began last September. Forest restrictions included the prohibition of all motorized boats and vehicles on the lake surface or on the exposed lakebed. Foot traffic to the water's edge was allowed, allowing access for hikers and anglers.
The restricted area included all submerged or exposed land of Canyon Lake from the high water line between Mormon Flat Dam and Horse Mesa Dam. All restriction orders are now lifted.
The scheduled SRP maintenance resulted in lower levels at Canyon Lake from the end of September until the end of January. Canyon Lake was gradually lowered to approximately 50 feet below the normal lake levels through normal water order during the four-month drawdown.
A grand reopening event is planned for March 1, to be held at the Canyon Lake Marina, 9a.m.- 3 p.m.
For further information about conditions on Canyon Lake, please call Mesa ranger district: (480) 610-3300 or visit the Tonto National Forest website: www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto.