Sunny Days and Warm Temps Mean it’s Time to Hit the Water

CONTACT: Information & Education, 1-800-262-3151

Alabama has an abundant amount of water resources when it comes to boating. Modern, freshwater boating access facilities statewide help make boating a safe and enjoyable experience at over 300 sites. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division Fisheries Section operates around 119 of the public boat ramp facilities, many of which have been renovated and/or are brand new. Some projects are made possible from WFF and local government partnerships. But, the fact remains, maintenance and construction of public boating access facilities cannot be continued unless more funding is made available to the Department.

Approximately two-to-three new boating access facilities are constructed each year. Most recent updates to existing facilities include the installation of courtesy docks at Waterloo, located in the extreme northeast part of the state on Pickwick Reservoir in Lauderdale County and on Flint Creek (Hickory Hills) in Decatur. These docks assist boaters in launching and pulling out their vessels safely and efficiently.                      

   

This new courtesy dock at Waterloo is handicap accessible and “barrier free” to accommodate boaters with disabilities.

Additionally, global positioning system data points (GPS) are available for many of the facilities. The GPS coordinates can be found on the Outdoor Alabama Web site at www.outdooralabama.com under individual boat ramp pages. Upkeep of all the facilities is necessary to maintain a safe and clean environment for boating enthusiasts. WFF’s boating access maintenance crew devote many man-hours to routine maintenance such as dock repair, parking lot renovation, and properly disposing of illegally dumped trash and garbage.

Also, plans are being developed for the construction of new facilities, dependant upon available funding. The WFF Boating Access Program is funded by revenue derived from hunting and fishing license sales which are used to match federal funding from the SportFish Restoration Program. Success of current legislature requesting an increase in license sales and boat registration fees will determine if new boating access facilities are built and existing facilities are sustained. 

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com.

###