Boating ramps closed due to shutdown

    7:11 PM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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    (Photo: Thinkstock)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Boaters Beware! The effects of the government shutdown are trickling down to boaters in Arkansas. With several boat ramps closed, local fishermen have been forced to look for other ways to get on the water.

    All of the parks and recreation areas managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are closed. That includes the boat ramps and access points inside of those areas.

    Vince Miller manages Fish-n-Stuff, a local fishing supply store. He said the ramp closings have affected fishing tournaments at Greers Ferry Lake.

    "There are tournaments almost every weekend up there," Miller said. "And, it's providing a hardship to the tournaments they are having. There are only really one or two ramps they can use on the whole big lake."

    Ramps are closed at the Arkansas River, Greers Ferry, Bull Shoals, and Table Rock Lakes.

    "We really wish we didn't have to close them, but we do just because of a lack of funds," said John Balgavy, Chief of Operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    All 14 of the division's projects are now closed.

    "We encourage everyone to do some research and find out if there's another access point operated by a private entity or city or county or the state and enjoy the waterway that way," Balgavy said. "As soon as we can in an orderly fashion we'll reopen everything."

    According to the Game and Fish Commission, the ramps they operate in their parks will remain open. They have not been affected by the government shutdown.

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