Corps Shuts Down Courtesy Docks For Winter

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Local resident Tom Williams was one of a couple of persons who called the Benton County Enterprise recently to ask for information about the closing of courtesy docks on Truman Lake, especially those for the handicapped. He said that he often uses the dock at Shawnee Bend because he is handicapped and needs to use the ramp provided for his wheelchair when he launches his boat.
“The Corps of Engineers have closed 14 free courtesy docks for the winter, and  in order to use other docks I must pay $5,” said Williams. “This time of the year is the best time to fish for those of us who live in the area. I understand that they are permanently closing the courtesy dock at Windsor. ”
Williams said that the Corps of Engineers are looking for other cities and organizations to help maintain the courtesy docks.  Randy Pogue, City Manager of Warsaw, said that he is taking a request for help with docks to the Warsaw Board of Aldermen on December 17, and it will be up to the Aldermen to make a decision.
The Corps of Engineers put out a News Release on December 14 reporting that they had pulled courtesy docks at Corps managed boat ramps on Truman Lake for December and January to reduce maintenance costs and to alleviate potential damage from icy conditions. With this reduction in amenities offered, no day use fees will be collected during this time frame.
The News Release further stated that this action alleviates the need to monitor dock conditions during fluctuating lake levels and allows limited staff to concentrate on backlogged maintenance items.  Project personnel plan to install courtesy docks at customary locations on or after February 1, 2019, or as lake conditions permit.
Alternative launch locations with courtesy docks are available as follows: 1) Osage Bluff Marina – floating courtesy dock – free; 2) Sterett Creek Marina – 2 courtesy docks - $5 fee; 3) Bucksaw Marina – 2 courtesy docks – free; 4) State Park Marina – 2 courtesy docks – free. 
The Corps of Engineers would like to work with volunteers, partners or local entities to maintain these facilities throughout the year or during these months. Those interested can contact the Corps at or 660-438-7317, extension 1.