PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Cecil M. Hardin Lake at Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area has now hit its winter pool. This means that lake levels are now 22 feet below the normal summer pool. All but one of the boat ramps are closed at this time. But for those who still want to boat on the lake can still use the Mansfield ramp. That ramp is located off Ferndale road on the south side of the lake.
News 10 Spoke with Ross Plotkin, Raccoon Lake S.R.A. Naturalist, about why the Army U.S. Corp of Engineers lowers the lake levels every winter.
”The purpose of the drawdown is to increase the lake storage capacity for water so that it's capable of holding any meltwater from winter-time rains or snowmelt."
These low lake levels also prevent flooding in the spring. Plotkin says normal lake levels are usually expected by March.
Boaters may use this ramp to launch into the lake but make sure you have an up-to-date launching permit. On January 1st, you will need a 2021 permit.
For more information, you can go to on.in.gov/raccoonsra.