Service on the water
Putting in docks and lifts
LAKE METIGOSHE – It’s quite a sight, and a welcome one. A sign of spring too.
A large barge has been busy here for the past several days, helping prepare the lake for an always busy summer. Its primary purpose, at least at this time of year, is to grab docks and lifts off shorelines, where they spent the winter, and return them to the water’s edge.
“It’s a savior for a lot of people on the lake here,” said Brian Glinz, Docks and Lifts of North Dakota. “We have a 50-foot crane on the front of it that can reach into the yards and grab docks and boat lifts and place them in the water.”
At Lake Metigoshe that’s a lot of docks and lifts. Glinz says there’s 800 or more lakeside residences, many with multiple docks and lifts that need to be put back in the water each spring. The work begins as soon as conditions allow.
“The day the ice comes off the water, that day,” said Glinz. “We get prepared and are ready to start putting stuff back in that day.”
By the middle of last week, said Glinz, work finished up on the north lake section of Lake Metigoshe and the barge with its crane was being moved to the south section of the scenic lake. Glinz estimated completing the anticipated work there would take two to 2-1/2 weeks.
“It’s not like the old days when people just had a dock and maybe a pontoon,” remarked Glinz. “Now they’ve got two docks, a boat, pontoon and jet skis.”
The barge is a big one, large enough to handle a variety of jobs needed on Lake Metigoshe. In addition to installation of docks and lifts, the barge is used for welding and repairs as necessary and even the occasional recovery of boats.
“We had to have a special permit to haul it up here,” said Glinz. “They built it eight or 10 years ago at Central Trenching in Minot. It’s owned by the Steel Horse Barge Company in Bottineau.”
As is the case throughout nearly the entire state, dry conditions are evident at Lake Metigoshe. The popular recreation lake is down nearly two feet from a year ago, precipitating a change along shorelines.
“This year has been a little bit tougher with the adjustments. It’s been an interesting spring because the lake level is so low. It’s a huge deal here,” said Glinz.
This spring, with minimal snow cover, there was not any measurable runoff entering Lake Metigoshe from the north. Oak Creek, which normally flows out of the lake to the south, has had no movement for weeks and will remain that way barring heavy precipitation.