Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
Rend Lake Reopens
WSIL -- The Rend Lake campgrounds and boat ramps are open again for the first time in more than two weeks.
"It's been 14 days since our campgrounds closed," said park ranger Dawn Kovarik. "We got the phone call first thing this morning and we went to work getting all the campgrounds, day-use areas, the boat ramps open back up for the public to use."
More than 52 facilities, including dozens of boat ramps and four camp sites, are now open.
"Any walk-in campers that would like to come and camp are more than welcome," explained Kovarik. "We will have facilities available for you."
The two-week shutdown impacted all types of visitors.
"I mean they shut it down more or less overnight," said local fisherman Larry Smith. "I have a boat and I like to fish on the lake. While it was closed I had to fish here in the marina."
With those ramps now open, Smith said he would take his boat out this weekend.
Park officials say it may take a week before the campgrounds and recreation areas begin seeing the normal amount of visitors for the fall.
"All of those people that would have been camping here would have spent money in the area at the local towns, restaurants and local facilities and that definitely does have an impact," explained Smith.
More than 40 Rend Lake employees are now back to work as well. Only 4 staffers were kept on during the shutdown.
Wind: 14 MPH
Humidity: 50 %