Hazard buoy on Lake Wedowee

LWPOA project leader Tommy Bell and member Mark Matthews prepare to launch a hazard buoy April 12.

LAKE WEDOWEE - Lake Wedowee Property Owners Association, in cooperation with the Alabama Marine Police, has installed ten hazard buoys atop shoals in Lake Wedowee. The buoys mark areas that are too shallow to safely operate a boat at summer or winter water levels.

Boaters are urged to avoid areas marked with the new buoys and to never drive a boat between a buoy and the shore as shallow water could lead to injuries or damage to boats and engines.

"Lake Wedowee has become more popular, and more visitors are out on the water. The lake is more crowded, and many boaters don't know where the hazards are," said Tommy Bell, LWPOA Safety Committee co-chairman. "We started working with the Marine Police more than a year ago to identify dangerous areas and do something about it. We've placed the first 10 buoys and hope to mark more shallows as our budget allows."

The association purchased the Coast Guard standard buoys - white with orange reflective diamonds, made anchors from concrete donated by Randolph County Concrete, and six member volunteers placed the markers last week. Shallows are marked from mile marker 1 just above the dam all the way to Piney Wood Creek, with three in sequence in the "S" curves on the Little Tallapoosa just up-channel from the Highway 48 bridge. Four of the buoys are lighted.

LWPOA Chairman Barry Morris said, "We haven't marked all the shoals, not by a long shot. Boaters still have to be aware of potential danger areas if they're near the shore. Buoys are no substitute for common sense."

The association can mark only shallow water hazards. No wake zones and other boating regulation buoys can be placed only by the Marine Police.

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