DNR warns of danger lurking below Lake Freeman

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) – The water on Lake Freeman may look like a tempting place for boaters to get out and enjoy a hot summer day, but below the surface lurks potential hazards.

“We’ve got young kids that want to ski and tube and because of the dangers of hitting the stumps and rocks that are closer to the surface now, we don’t want to do it,” said boater Mark Blacklidge.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, a lack of rain has caused Lake Freeman to reach below normal levels.

Blacklidge said it has dropped more than a foot in some areas, exposing hazards like tree stumps.

He learned of the lakes lower than usual level after his daughter tried to drive a jet ski through the shallow water.

“It was too shallow so we sucked a lot of rocks through the pump and ruined the pump,” said Blacklidge. “We’ve got about a thousand dollars in damage.”

The low water is costing more than people with damaged property. Tall Timbers Marina Vice President of Sales Gary Creigh said it has affected business.

“We’ve had several in that can’t use their boats, complaining they can’t get them off the lift, and wondering what’s going on,” Creigh said.

According to Creigh most are aware of the damage caused by objects in Lake Freeman and have avoided going out, costing the business more than the price to use the boat ramp.

“Some people are not going out because of the concerns of the lower water level or they can’t get out,” said Creigh. “So it has affected the gas sales a little bit.”

Indiana DNR said until the area gets more rain the lake could lower more, causing more danger and putting a damper on Lake Freeman fun.

“It does put a hindrance on the way we boat, and it is dangerous when we’re pulling a tube or skier or whatever,” said Blacklidge.

Indiana DNR is asking anyone on the water to take extra caution until lake levels return to normal.

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