Skiers May Get Higher Speeds On 2 Waterways

December 12, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

The plaintive cries of skiers being squeezed off the Magothy River have not gone unheard.

Jody Roessler, chief of planning for the state Boating Administration, said her office is recommending that water-skiing be allowed on Eagle Cove off Gibson Island and on the Little Magothy River.

Roessler said her agency is making the change in response to water-skiers who packed Magothy River Middle School last month, complaining that the 6 mph boating speed limit recommended for most of the 30 creeks and coves would prohibit skiing. The skiers said they needed at least 18 mph.

In particular, the skiers bemoaned the loss of Eagle Cove and the upper reaches of the Little Magothy, where the state said restrictions were needed to protect popular anchoring and swimming areas.

Roessler said her office decided to relax the restrictions to allow skiing and still protect the other uses. The new draft eliminates the speed limits on Eagle Cove and relaxes restrictions on the nearby Magothy Narrows, imposing limits there only on weekends andholidays during the summer boating season.

Gibson Island residents proposed the limits in the Magothy Narrows to ease congestion and hazards that occur when boaters must navigate their yachts through slaloming skiers, Roessler said.

The revised plan also shrinks the speed zone on the Little Magothy, opening up a traditional cove used asa turnaround by ski boats. The limits are still in place around a community swim area, she said.

The limits, however, remain on Cornfield Creek, where competitive skiers want to install a practice slalomcourse. The Severn and Magothy River Ski Club has asked the Army Corps of Engineers for permission to drop marker buoys but has mustered little political support to change the limit.

Sen. Philip Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park, who represents the Magothy region, said he supports the Boating Administration plans to close Cornfield to skiing and to keep Eagle Cove open. Cornfield, with its marinas and boat ramps, is too congested, he said. But recreational skiers need some protected water for their use, he said.

The boating plan will be reviewed Jan. 7 by a 21-member boat advisory committee, which will make recommendations to state Secretary of Natural Resources Torrey Brown. If Brownapproves, the plan will go the Maryland Register in late February and should be enforced by May, Roessler said.

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