Low water levels present challenges for Minnesota boaters

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On Labor Day weekend, many Minnesotans are enjoying spending time on waterways, but the recent drought conditions presented challenges.

At Turtle Lake in Shoreview, boaters are slowing down because water levels are lower than normal.

“Normally the water is up to the grass, but this summer slowly over time the water is going down and you can see more and more sand,” said Andrew Uloman, who visited Turtle Lake on Sunday.

Some ventured out to the lakes after finding most Minnesota rivers hit rock bottom.

“I wanted to bring my grandson out kayaking. He’s been wanting to do it and we have to do a lake because the rivers and creeks are too low,” Kelly Burrier said.

The majority of river levels are low in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources website.

The DNR is urging boaters to check out conditions before they hit the water. If water levels are too low to launch your boat, it’s safer to try another waterway.

“We used to be able to pull right up to the shoreline here and now we’re about 25 feet out so it is a little bit lower, but with the recent rains it helped a bit,” said Pat Lawton, who visited White Bear Lake on Sunday.

People at White Bear Lake said despite low water levels, spirits are still high.

Beneath the shallow waters, there’s a silver lining.

“It creates a nice sandy beach for us. More so when the water levels were high, it was harder for the little kids to touch, so it’s nice to have the shallowness,” Lawton said.