WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One of the busiest lake weekends of the year is days away, and the drought is continuing to cause low lake levels around the state, forcing a change in plans for some boaters.
Lake Afton is currently down 3.5 feet. This won’t change anything for those heading there this weekend. However, over at Wellington City Lake, it’s currently down over four feet, forcing boat ramps to close.
“Basically, any boat with an inboard, outboard motor, pontoon boats, things like that, that are gonna launch off of a trailer. Those, unfortunately, are going to be prohibited just ’cause you can’t get ’em onto the water,” said Jeremy Jones, Wellington’s director of Public Works.
While boats are unable to launch from the ramps at Wellington City Lake, some boats can be launched from the shoreline.
“If it’s a smaller type kayak, flat bottom boat that you can launch from the shoreline by hand. Even little trolling motors, we would allow those. Sailboats like the little inner tubes,” said Jones.
Jones says that it has been several years since the water has been this low, and are needing to pump water from a river to maintain the current level.
In order for boat ramps to be opened at Wellington City Lake, there needs to be a heavy rain in a short period of time.
Lake Afton is currently at its lowest that it’s been since the 1990s.
“This is the first time it’s ever been this low in probably, I can honestly say in 25 years. It’s low,” said Laurel Ford, Lake Afton’s administrative assistant.
These changes in the water levels are noticeable.
“When I saw it like this, I was like, ‘Dang this is super low compared to last time I was here,'” said fisherman Luke Davis.
The recent rain is helping water levels at Lake Afton, but only slightly.
“It has gone up a little but not much at all,” said Ford.
At both lakes, swimming, fishing, and camping won’t look much different.
Over at Marion County Lake, levels are 3.5 feet low. Park officials say that the two ramps are open, but if the lake loses more water, the ramps could close between now and Friday.