BRANSON, Mo., May 19 – The Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a boating use study on Table Rock Lake between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends to gather information about recreational boating and the perceptions and preferences of boaters.  Corps officials urge boaters to participate in surveys when asked so the agency can better serve the boating public in the future.

Boaters will be surveyed by contractors working for the Corps.  The surveys will primarily be exit interviews of boaters at randomly selected public launching facilities around Table Rock Lake.  Also, the survey questionnaire will be mailed to a randomly selected sample population of adjacent landowners, marina customers and private boat slip owners on the lake.

Using scientific methods, the study will examine not only boater preferences but also how the natural and social environments, as well as Corps management practices, influence boaters in the areas of the lake they frequent.

The survey will include questions about place of origin, travel time and cost, frequency of visits, length of stay, and other activities enjoyed.  There will be questions about the types and sizes of boats used, as well as the use of ramps, docks, or existing or prospective marina facilities.  It will include questions about recreational experiences and perceptions including crowding, congestion, boat docks, shoreline erosion, noise, lake usage, aesthetics, water quality, no wake zones, use patterns, competing uses (fishing vs. water-skiing, etc.), crime, boat speed and other issues.

Boat counts will be taken on the lake to detect congested areas.  The times and dates of the counts will be determined by a scientific random sampling method.  Lake surface zones will be used to describe where congestion is the most prevalent.

The survey will help determine how development, competing uses and other issues can affect the safety and enjoyment of visitors and residents.  This information will assist lake managers in preparing for an Environmental Impact Study prior to updating the Shoreline Management Plan for Table Rock Lake if funding becomes available.  The EIS is a required step in the update.  The data will also be valuable in updating the Table Rock Lake Master Plan.

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