Lake Okeechobee is nearing record low water levels again.

The low water (currently 9.6 feet on 5-01-2007 and falling about 1 inch per day) on Lake Okeechobee, has presented a few problems for boaters who don't learn to read a topo map or heed advice from those who know the lake. There is a rock reef that crosses the lake from approximately Observation Island southeastward to the Pahokee airport. This reef is from a few inches below the water to exposed in places. It does not run in a perfect line, rather it sort of zigzags across the lake. It is 100 yds. to a mile wide in places. You can run the rim ditch or marked channel areas without much concern, (observing markers and buoys of course) but when you leave those areas you had best slow down or pay the price (usually a new prop or lower unit). When running into areas to fish make sure that you set you boat down a long ways out or you may find yourself wading back to deeper water while dragging your boat behind you. The fishing is good on the lake in spite of some tough conditions, as saw in tournament weigh-ins with weights of 30 pounds plus for a 5 fish limit. Launching your boat is becoming a problem as the water goes lower. The Corps of Engineers is refusing to make repairs on them, even though now is the perfect time to do just that. Use caution and enjoy the lake.

Walt Reynolds, BASS Touring Pro

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Last changed: September 07, 2009