CROOKED LAKE — Some changes will be coming to the Steuben County Park’s docking arrangement after the Indiana Department of Natural Resources determined some of the campground’s renters were blocking the shoreline.
“They told us we can’t block the shoreline,” said Frank Charlton, parks superintendent, speaking Tuesday to the Steuben County Board of Commissioners.
Some of the docks have end sections that ran parallel to the shoreline that, when parked with boats, block access to the shore.
Indiana law requires access to the all of the shore from the lake, particularly for anglers.
This will mean docks will have to be arranged differently next year when campers start getting ready for the season.
Meanwhile, Charlton and Kylee Harris, assistant superintendent, are expecting a backlash from campers who have their boats licensed in other states.
When the DNR’s Division of Law Enforcement conservation officers were inspecting the campground’s shoreline recently, it was determined that many of the campers with out-of-state-tagged boats were not in compliance with Indiana law, which requires a boat being kept in state for more than 30 days to be registered in Indiana.
Harris said many of these individuals were probably going to start receiving tickets any day now from the DNR.
Charlton and Harris asked commissioners if they should remind campers of the rules in the annual campground guidelines that are sent out.
The consensus was that boat owners should avail themselves of knowledge of Indiana boating laws and that it was not the county’s responsibility to do so.
Because of the docking change and ticketing, Charlton and Harris are expecting some fireworks from campers on Sept. 14 when a campground general meeting is held.