Boaters Rejoice Dredging Of Channel To Lake Havasu

By Laurel Morales
December 05, 2011

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Crews are dredging a channel through a sandbar where the Colorado River meets Lake Havasu this week. And boaters are ecstatic.

The swift current of the Colorado River slows dramatically where it meets the lake and dumps sand on the river bottom.

Lake Havasu Marine Association director Jim Salscheider says crossing the three-mile-long sandbar is dangerous and has cost many boaters their propellers.

"We have 60 miles of the best cruising in the west, but you have to get through the middle of it," Salscheider said. "The usual way is to lift up your outdrive and hope you make it. This is a dramatic change for the boater. It gives them a safe passage."

The marine association raised $60,000 to dredge the river. It took Salsheider and the nearby Chemehuevi Indian Tribe about a year to win permits from five federal agencies and two California agencies.

The project has to be completed before two endangered fish species reproduce in the spring.

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu on the Arizona-California border.