Boaters, businesses anxiously await Buckeye Lake dam update

Buckeye Lake fishing guide Doug Stewart is one of the many waiting for the next phase of the Buckeye Lake dam reconstruction (WSYX/WTTE)

BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Neighbors of Buckeye Lake are hoping the first phase of the dam repair goes well so the state can begin the process of letting nature refill the lake and bring the water levels up. That will encourage boating and bring back business to the beleaguered waterway and the towns surrounding it.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said if Phase One of the project is sound, the gate allowing water to spill from the lake will be closed and rainwater will collect to refill the lake. Most years, the gate is closed in April, but the gate remains open while construction continues.

Doug Stewart is a fishing guide at Buckeye Lake. He's looking forward to the lake levels going up, but said with the five-to-six-foot depths at the lake currently, boats can navigate. Plus, he said if the gate isn't closed until June, there aren't guarantees there will be enough rain to fill the lake.

"It won't be up to the normal summer pool that we're used to," Stewart said.

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