Water levels in Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are significantly lower than they were during this time last year, down 12 inches and 17 inches, respectively, causing boat owners in the parts of Ontario and Michigan that border these bodies of water to consider leaving the marina this summer.
According to The Windsor Star, an Ontario news source, this could have a notable effect on the area's economy and ecosystems, as fishermen and other marine professionals may have a difficult time conducting business under these conditions.
Dave Poisson, who owns Dave's Marine Supply in Windsor, said that boaters will have to be particularly careful, using GPS and charts to make sure they don't damage their vessels.
"With water levels the way they are, we barely got out on time last year so unless it comes up I'm probably going to leave it on shore this year," said Bob Stevenson, adding that it will be strange not to take his boat out on the water for the first time in at least 30 years.
Depending on the level of rainfall in April, water levels could rise enough to eliminate the risk of vessels getting stuck in the mud or crashing into rocks, but at this point it's too soon to tell.
People who own and operate watercraft for residential or commercial purposes understand that there are a number of risks associated with taking a boat out on the water and that there will always be some elements of these activities that are left to chance. There are factors you can have control over, though, like working with a marine insurance agency to gain access to the highest-rated providers in the industry and ensure that you are covered in the case of a maritime accident.