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Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-23-2006, 12:09 PM Reply   
Has anyone ever dredged their lake, canal, or body of water? The County is putting in a control structure to maintain our lake level, but the problem is that it's going to leave about 20 of us high and dry and literally in the mud. We're going to be cleaning the vegetation out of the canal this weekend with a myriad of methods (obtained from your suggestions here THANKS!), but we really need to take the canal bed down about a foot if not more.

It's about 30' wide and probably 250 yards long. Behind my house is fine, because of prop wash, but it's not that way for the entire canal.
Old    patratmkk            08-23-2006, 12:21 PM Reply   
First check with the State to see if you need permits or environmental studies. Or rent a track hoe and dig in the middle of the night . Most hoe's (mechanical kind, not the good kind) reach from 16 to 20 plus feet depending on the size you get. You could reach out half way and work down the canal. This is going to be time consuming and you will want a mucking bucket so less water will be taken with each scoop. You also have to be careful because any digging/dredging done will stir up the water and could choke out fish/plants etc. Then you still have to figure out where you are going to put all of the spoils you pull out? Just some food for thought.
Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-23-2006, 12:29 PM Reply   
Thanks for the info Pat. Yeah, I believe it'll be more of a middle of a night, hush hush type of thing. I don't know that the shore based hoes would work too well because of fence lines. Great question about the spoils, but originally we were talking about dumping it on shore or in the middle of the lake (20+ ft). If we threw it on shore, inevitably it'll end up back in the canal, but if we're running boats in and out of there, hopefully some of the muck/silt would dissipate.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       08-23-2006, 12:59 PM Reply   
Did you try talking with a local dock builder...I know mine had a contraption aka barge type boat with a backhoe looking thing on it, used for things like this. the back hoe woudl scoop/dredge the lake bottom, he'd dump it on the barge and dump in the middle of the lake...time consuming but worked.
Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-23-2006, 1:30 PM Reply   
Good idea! We have a few local dock builders that do a lot of work here.
Old     (dr_inc)      Join Date: Mar 2005       08-23-2006, 2:00 PM Reply   
good question... my dad and i want to dredge a spot on the delta where our house is... we want to put a hydrohoist there but at super low tide its only a couple of feet deep..

and one have more info on this?!?!
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       08-23-2006, 3:01 PM Reply   
Scott, I hate to say it, but you guys need some legal advice too. If the county is making a change that affects the groups property values, or access to the lake, then the county may be responsible for dredging, or compensating you for your loss of access.

A developer on my lake dredged a shallow creek to create more lakefront lots, and the guy ended up spending a couple hundred $K. Barge mounted equipment gets real expensive.

I would get organized and form a group. Maybe the controlled water level is negotiable.
Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-23-2006, 5:26 PM Reply   
Good point, Rich. I'll ask the HOA if I can "borrow" their lawyer. Thanks.
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       08-23-2006, 6:30 PM Reply   
Also, you might want to check with the American Water Ski Assoc, which is based in Florida. They can at least point you to some helpful resources. I remember an article w/in the last year or two dealing with property rights, water ski restricted lakes, etc. Not the exact same issue but they would know the people who deal with that.

Why would the county want to lower the lake level? if its a reservoir, then they are reducing the capacity. In our lake, if you dredge you are adding to the holding capacity and the lake authority will allow it.

I also think you will be amazed at the volume of material you are talking about; many dump truck loads, and you won't be able to just put in a deeper part of the lake. Some arrangement can be made with someone who needs fill dirt.
Old     (gobigorgohome)      Join Date: Aug 2005       08-23-2006, 8:25 PM Reply   
Quote: Why would the county want to lower the lake level?

Just a guess, but could be to do with the actual building of the control structure. Canyon and Apache lakes (in AZ) are both being dropped by 50' next summer and the following summer respectively for dam maintenance. Hope the ramps are long enough...
Old     (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-23-2006, 9:57 PM Reply   

This is the type of stuff I do for a living. Your looking at hundreds of thousands. I just don't see it being feasible for individuals to get the proper equipment and do anything noticeable for less than $100K. Not to mention, as someone mentioned previously the environmental impact. You'll have the hippy liberals all over you (sorry you left wingers). And it will be noticeable during the day. The water will be churned up and muddy for months after this.

You need to check w/ the Corps of Engineers b/c you are affecting a wetlands area. Or possible future wetlands area. I'm sure you'll also need a permit from Fema as well. There is no middle of the night , hush hush on a project like this. Remember, it only takes one person to get pissy and get you shut down... or worse yet... thrown in jail and fined!
Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-24-2006, 5:13 AM Reply   
thanks for all who have replied. It's a really long story but in a nutshell, the lake has been at the current level for about 15 years now because the county hasn't been able to clean out the culverts that are downstream of us. This project started about two years ago and the lake dropped about 3 feet in a week. We had the county commissioners involved pretty quickly. As a result, they agreed to put in a dam type of structure that would hold the lake at an acceptable level for about 90% of the lake dwellers. Unfortunately I'm one of the remaining 10% who's going to be affected by it. My canal will be un-navigable for at least 6 months of the year, and the other half it will really low and I'll run the risk of damaging skegs/prop.
Old     (bruce)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-24-2006, 1:41 PM Reply This guy knows what he is doing, but he is in Texas.
Old     (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-24-2006, 3:41 PM Reply   
I don't know the exact situation your in, but to me it sounds as this could unfortunately be construed as a case of imminent domain.

But none the less, it does sound to me, as someone mentioned above, that you might be entitled to some sort of compensation due to the loss in property value. Although, they could easily argue that you have no right to that property to begin with and therefore there is no loss to you. This is a major longshot, but do you have any deeded secretion land that goes w/ your lot? If so, then that could be a way to argue against the argument above. But I'm just a land developer, not a lawyer... I do think it's time to make an appt. with your lawyer just to see what your options are. Most should be happy to discuss it with you, tell you your options for free.

Unfortunately it doesn't sound to me as the HOA will be of any help as it sounds as they've already made their deal. They were going for the greater good instead of making 100% happy... which is almost never possible.

Good Luck
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       08-25-2006, 7:52 AM Reply   
10% of the property owners is a pretty good start. The courts are there to protect the minority's interests. If the water level has been fairly constant for 15 years, surely property has been bought and sold during that time, and property value was affected by access to the lake.

There is a land development deal being shut down on my lake because it affects one guy. Your best bet is to tie it up in court. Your group can make it too expensive for them to go forward with their plan.


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