Stolen Buoy


Several years ago the Peterman family installed an orange buoy at what used to be the end of the 500-foot long wooden pier in Oliver Lake at the shoreline of Limberlost camp. Unfortunately a boater (or boaters) have taken offense at this buoy and have released it from its mooring several times and then just removed it from the area a couple of weeks ago.

The pier was originally constructed by Purdue University when they owned the camp and was in water approximately 9-10 feet deep at the end of the pier. But just 3.5 to 4 feet underneath the surface of the water are the old concrete foundations for the pier posts.  These structures have not posed much of a risk of collision or injury over the years, however, things have changed: 
  1. The lower propulsion units of modern wake-boarding boats, which include on-board ballast tanks, can easily reach those depths, especially if turning sharp in the vicinity.
  2. There are several larger sailboats on the lake, which draft in at least 2 feet of water and have 4-6 ft. center boards.
  3. There is at least one cabin-style boat on the lake with a lower propulsion unit that can easily reach this depth.
The purpose of the buoy is to ensure public safety and removing it could result in catastrophic destruction of property and/or personal injury. There is no question that a side benefit is that it keeps motorized boat traffic away from the ecologically-sensitive and shallow beach on the East side of the lake. A motorized boat with its prop down and at full-throttle should be no closer than 500-600 feet from shore in this area, or in 10-feet deep water. Churning up the sand and marl bottom of the lake is the best way to cause the water to be cloudy and accelerate a decline in the overall health of the lake.  

So, the old buoy has been replaced by a larger and bright orange one. If you see anyone making contact with the buoy (or ANY of the buoys on our lakes for that matter) please call the Indiana DNR Enforcement Division at (260) 244-3720.

Thank you, have fun, and be safe on the water!

Submitted by Patrick Wiltshire 


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