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Gator, boats, but still not enough water in Lake Lanier

POSTED: August 15, 2008 5:01 a.m.

From an alligator to a big boating bash, Lake Lanier seemed to feature a little of everything last week, except higher water levels.

The level of Lake Lanier mostly remained steady, but did drop a bit during the course of the week.

Having less water to swim in may not be welcome news to the newest inhabitant of Lake Lanier.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has put out traps to catch the small alligator apparently living in the Flat Creek area of the lake at least since mid-July.

It was spotted — and photographed! — from a boat owned by Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, which does routine patrols of the lake to test water quality.

DNR rangers have had no luck in catching the reptile yet. Their plan if they catch him?

Take the critter back to South Georgia where he belongs.

But don’t fear running into the animal if he eludes capture. Rangers say at only about 3 feet in length, he’s too small to pose much of a danger to public safety.

Saturday featured a boating party to celebrate National Marina Day at the newly renamed Aquamarina Lazy Days, which used to go by the moniker Lazy Days Marina. Hundreds gathered for food and fun despite the continuously dropping lake levels.

Also, Lazy Days has added a new, high-priced forklift to help get bigger vessels in and out of the water.

Getting access to the lake isn’t always easy, as dropping water levels mean even fewer boat ramps are open. Dawson County is facing the closure of one of its ramps at War Hill Park, and few remain open elsewhere.

In their work session this morning, Hall County commissioners are set to talk about ways to extend some of the closed boat ramps on the Hall County part of the lake. Recent private projects have extended a ramp at Clarks Bridge Park, among others.

There’s not much chance for boaters or an alligator to see higher lake levels this week. It’s expected to be a dry one on Lake Lanier, with no significant rain forecast until Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.



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