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The following reports have been collected from Lorraine Winters, WSM to alert anglers and boaters as to the type of situations that the Rangers have been encountering.  This is shared in an effort to minimize problems and educate all as to what is occurring at Hoover.

10/25/17 - Incidents addressed by Rangers in the past week included alcohol and drug use, fishing off of docks, and illegal dumping.  Blendon Twp. Police assisted with an afternoon vehicle break-in on 10/19 at the upper Marina lot, and deterred two groups of park visitors climbing on dam structures.  A medical emergency occurred at Redbank Marina on Wednesday evening with Genoa Twp. responding.  ODNR has been sampling Hoover for young-of-year saugeye this week, hoping for better results than previously found.

10/18/17 - High winds over the weekend caused a pontoon boat to blow away from its dock.  Buckeye Boat Club members reported the adrift vessel which was recovered by the rangers and returned safely.  Later that day, Watershed received a report of a capsized kayak south of Smothers Road Bridge, however no vessel was located in a search conducted by rangers and Westerville Fire.  Winds also contributed to a tree fallen near Walnut Street on the east side of the reservoir.  Earlier in the week Blendon Twp PD assisted in responding to a medical situation at the dam, and two instances of drug use were reported.  Ranger also encountered a visitor releasing a trapped animal into the park. The gate to the lower west parking lot remains intermittently closed to facilitate construction projects.

10/11/17 - The coming week will bring much activity at the dam relative to construction and maintenance work.  Access to certain areas of the dam will be restricted, including the stairs on the southwest side of the dam which will close tomorrow for approximately one month.  Over the weekend, Rangers encountered an intoxicated driver operating off road near Hoover's Area B, resulting in minor damage to a park bollard. 

10/4/17 - Many thanks to all who donated a few hours on Saturday in support of the Hoover Litter Clean-up.  Ranger Mark will have the full event summary soon, and by all accounts it was a success.  News for this week includes the arrival of the long-awaited courtesy dock at the new Twin Bridges boat launch.  Work is progressing well at Oxbow, though the contractor has experienced some difficulties with cars and/or visitors who have moved barricades to access the causeway.  For readers who visit Hoover Dam, upcoming events to note include a charity run at the dam on Saturday morning October 7th, followed by two days next week (Oct 11 & 12) when the dam roadway will be closed for routine maintenance.

9/27/17 - All are invited to join Watershed in the annual Hoover litter clean-up this Saturday from 9am to noon.  Volunteers will meet at the shelterhouse off of the lower west dam parking lot.  Bags, gloves and light refreshments will be provided and the weather forecast looks like a great day to be outside.  Whether you can join for an hour, or the morning, everyone is welcome.  As a reminder, this weekend is also the fall rowing regatta hosted by Westerville Crew.  This large event will bring many youth rowers and spectators to the Hoover shorelines just north and south of the Walnut Street Boat Ramp.  Regatta traffic will be heaviest on Saturday with set up beginning Friday afternoon.  For those wishing to launch a boat, Twin Bridges or Redbank will be the best options for this weekend.

9/20/17 - A welcome sigh of relief followed the return of Sunbury Road southbound traffic between Maxtown and County Line as Westerville opened the newly-improved lane yesterday.  Work is progressing at the Oxbow Ramp and the retention basin near Hoover Dam with all construction benefiting from the great weather.  There was a late report of a purse stolen from an unlocked vehicle on Labor Day, but overall, theft reports have been very minimal this year.  Over the past weekend, a group of visitors was cited for littering and under-age consumption after they were observed throwing litter in the waterway south of the dam.

9/6/17 - Thankfully this week was a little less hectic than last.  Rangers addressed fishing off the dock at Redbank, illegal parking at the Hoover Marina turnaround, drug use near the dam, and took a report of a lost cellphone.  The Oxbow Boat Ramp is now closed through next May or early June to allow for construction of the new ramp.  As mentioned earlier, the annual Hoover Litter Clean-up will be held Saturday, September 30th.  That is also the date of the fall Westerville Crew Rowing Regatta, and sure to be a busy day at the reservoir.

8/30/17 - One of summer’s last beautiful weekends brought lots of variety to this week’s report.  From a person practicing archery near the dam, to intoxicated individuals found at Redbank and Oxbow, the rangers addressed several unsafe situations.  Boaters were found operating an unauthorized inflatable boat, a motor exceeding 10hp, a jet ski, and engaging in excessive speed.  Much appreciation to the Genoa Twp. Police Department for their successful rescue of a capsized kayaker on 8/27.  In this case, a throwable rope (and an accurate throw) saved the day for the panicked boater wearing an ill-fitting PFD.  Rangers provided a tow to two vessels in distress and reported one very unpleasant fish hook embedded in the hand of a dam fisherman.  If you found yourself up a creek without a paddle, or if you found a paddle (at Twin Bridges), Watershed does maintain a small inventory of lost-and-found items left at the reservoirs. 

Best wishes for a safe Labor Day weekend!

8/23/17 - This week we have news to share regarding a theft of an outboard motor cover from a boat docked at the Redbank Marina.  Witnesses observed a man taking the cover and heading north in a boat to fish near Oxbow.  Through the efforts of Genoa Township Police and Watershed Rangers, the suspect was located and charged upon returning to Redbank.  Thankfully, we have received very few reports of thefts from boats and cars this season, this being one of the first. 

8/16/17 - As we ease into the end of August and the start of the school year, activity at the reservoir has been very quiet.  One issue rangers encountered this week, which we have not yet highlighted, involved the use of a drone near the dam.  Due to security and safety concerns, unpermitted drones are not welcome around the dam or reservoir property.  Visitors may contact the Watershed Rangers at 614-648-6019 to report drones or other urgent issues involving the reservoir - thank you.

- Today was an exciting day as ODNR held the kickoff meeting for the redesign of the Oxbow Boat Launch.  The project, funded primarily through the Division of Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration funds, will bring major upgrades to the parking lots, lighting, boat ramp and causeway.  Boaters and shoreline anglers can look forward to a new asphalt roadway with curb and sidewalk, a new concrete ramp, floating docks and redesigned parking to accommodate 27 car-trailer spaces and 18 car spaces.  While the schedule for the project is not 100% confirmed, current estimates anticipate a complete closure of the area from Sept 2017 to June 2018.   Updates and announcements will be made as available.  

7/26/17 - The report is short this week.  Other than some vandalism to the bird blind at Mudhen Marsh, it was a relatively quiet week at Hoover. 

7/19/17 - The biggest news of the last week for Hoover was the opening of the Smothers Road Bridge, which officially opened to vehicular traffic on July 14th.  Much appreciation to the engineers and construction personnel who worked hard to minimize the duration of the disruption, and to accommodate the passage of boating traffic throughout the project.  Final touches to the bridge will include painting of the underside structure, followed by barge removal and restoration of the right-of-way.  As one project wraps up, another is preparing to begin, and this too will bring exciting improvements to the reservoir.  The first week of August will kick off a long-awaited project to improve the Oxbow Boat Launch.  This project is a cooperative venture of ODNR and the City of Columbus to greatly upgrade the boat launch facilities, allowing better access to the northern reaches of the reservoir.  The area will be closed at the onset of construction activity and we will update readers of the HFR with dates and timelines once confirmed.  Speaking of dates, curious volunteers are already asking about the date of the fall Hoover Litter Cleanup.  This year's clean-up will be held on Saturday, September 30th - same time, same place (9a-12p, meet at the shelter on the lower west side of Hoover Dam).   

7/5/17 - This week rangers provided boat assistance to a vessel in need of a tow, and helped several kayakers who were either missing required equipment, overloaded or both.  Shoreline fires, fishing off docks, and plenty of curfew violations were found and addressed.  The bridge is expected to open mid-July (within the next two weeks) but as the date is not 100% certain, please contact the Franklin County Engineer's Office for the latest update. 

6/28/17 - This week's cooler temperatures and rainy weather put a damper on reservoir activities with a marked decrease in attempted swimming and curfew violations.  Rangers provided a late-night tow to a stranded boat, and offered assistance to an overturned catamaran, though high winds, waves, and shallow conditions scuttled the attempt.  A campfire was discovered on the north end of the reservoir, and several boat checks revealed missing required equipment.  Blendon Township Police responded to a physical altercation between two individuals at Hoover Area A on Monday evening.  

6/21/17 - Reservoir activity has been steady with lots of kayaks, paddle boards, anglers and sailboats enjoying the waterways.  In observation of June 21st, and the late-setting sun, we remind all boaters to properly light their boats at night, and proceed with caution, looking out for boats of all sizes.  Watershed has received several complaints of boaters going too fast in the Twin Bridges cove and Rangers will be keeping a watch on the area.  Hoover's 10mph speed limit helps to protect the shoreline from wave-induced erosion, however wakes can also be hazardous for smaller boats and docks.  Boaters are responsible for their wakes and any damages they may cause.  Catching up from last week, three research boats operated by OSU and ODNR Division of Wildlife were sampling fish and surveying areas of the reservoir well into the evening hours.  Stay tuned for an update on the opening of the Smothers Road Bridge.  It won't be this week, but it will be soon!

6/7/17 - A run of temps in the high 80's was enough to tempt several visitors to wade or swim.  Rangers have responded to a handful of swimmers in the last two weeks, along with curfew violations, which routinely increase when school is out.  Kayaks and paddle boards are bringing novice boaters to the reservoir and Rangers are educating many paddlers about PFD requirements.  The Smothers Road Bridge project is proceeding and contractors will be installing temporary scaffolding under the bridge for work below the deck.

5/24/17 - Smothers Road Bridge work is moving along and, as announced at the latest project meeting, the bridge is scheduled to open on July 5th.  The concrete deck pour is planned for the evening of May 23rd, which was announced too late for last week's update, but it will explain if any evening boaters witnessed extra lighting and 56 concrete trucks making deliveries throughout the night.  In recognition of National Safe Boating week, May 20-26, Watershed reminds all boaters of the importance of a well-fitting PFD for all boat occupants.  Throughout the boating season, Rangers often find boats with an insufficient number of PFDs, or PFDs that are tucked away in storage lockers instead of being worn, or within reach of the boat's occupants.  For information on Ohio's required safety equipment, visit equipment.

5/17/17 - This week, rangers encountered typical warm-weather fare: curfew violations, fishing from courtesy docks, and three boats towed to safe harbor.  Oxbow was the site of much activity including a portajon knocked over, a campfire, and a vehicle stuck on the causeway (not a good place to turn around).  Rangers assisted with the fire and the stuck vehicle, and the portajon will be reset by the service provider.

5/10/17 - It's been a relatively quiet week at the reservoir with shoreline fishing picking up and boats slowly filling the marinas.  Noteworthy news of the week is the opening of the Oxbow access area and causeway.  This boat launch will be undergoing a major renovation and, in preparation, trees along the causeway were cut earlier this year.  Last week ODNR was able to remove the fallen trees to allow for shoreline fishing through the busy spring and summer months until the project begins this August.  Watershed Rangers are available for voluntary boat safety inspections for any boater wishing to verify they have the required boat safety equipment on board.  Please contact the Watershed Management office to arrange for an inspection or look for Rangers on the water or at the ramps.

4/26/17 - The beautiful weather has kept the reservoir park areas and launch ramps busy this week.  Many boaters have inquired about the status of the Twin Bridges Boat Launch, wondering if the launch is open and, if so, when the dock will arrive.  According to Columbus Recreation and Parks, a newly-constructed dock will arrive this summer, however the exact date is unknown.  In the meantime, the launch is open and contractors are installing seed and remaining plantings.  Temporary fencing has been installed to protect the areas where the new seed and plants will take root.  Unfortunately, we have found areas where fencing has been cut or removed to facilitate access to the shoreline.  To help ensure the survival of the new plantings, these areas are off-limits for now and designated paths to the shore are available.  More shoreline will be exposed as the reservoir water level drops, increasing the space available for bank fishing. 

4/19/17 - Happy Spring! Watershed Management is once again thankful for the opportunity to share reservoir happenings with the HFR readers.  This year will be an eventful one with many projects occurring on and around the reservoir.  Though projects like the Smothers Road Bridge redecking and the Sunbury Road widening are not City of Columbus projects, we will share periodic updates on how these projects might impact Hoover visitors.  Speaking of the Smothers Road Bridge, several boaters have asked if boat traffic will be maintained throughout the project.  The Franklin County Engineer's Office who is leading the project has assured that boat passage is allowed, though at times it will be limited to specific spans.  Please proceed cautiously when boating past the bridge piers and stay clear of barges and other equipment.  The annual Westerville Crew spring regatta will be held on Saturday, April 22.  Set up will begin on Friday the 21st and those familiar with the event will recall that traffic on Sunbury will be very heavy throughout the weekend.  While Walnut Boat Ramp will be open for use, boaters are encouraged to use Redbank or the newly improved Twin Bridges launch.  Some Hoover boaters have spotted a boat traveling an unusual course back and forth from east to west shorelines.  This boat is conducting a bathymetric study of the reservoir underwater topography.  Using sonar to capture contours of the reservoir bottom, the data can be used to better understand reservoir volume and depth.