The boat ramp at Wood Tikchik State Park is open early. The cost for a launch pass has increased to $100 this year.
Ranger Bill Berkahn says the warm weather did most of the work to clear the launch of piled up snow and ice:
"Ice has melted and it's dry and fairly ice free," says Berkahn. "There is just one small patch of ice left on the ramp and it's melting very quickly."
A few boaters have already made use of the facility this year. Berkahn says this is about a month to six weeks earlier than usual for the launch to be open.
"Generally at this time we've got ice piled up at the end of the ramp. It's usually mid-May before we see these conditions," says Berkahn.
There is still plenty of ice on the Lake, and ice moving up and down the Wood River, so Ranger Berkahn advises some caution on the water.
The annual boat launch fee increased this year from $75 to $100, as part of a statewide effort to raise more revenue for parks maintenance and operations. The price to register a second boat will cost $50, and subsequent boats are charged at the full price. Launch passes can be obtained online, at the Ranger Station, or in a drop box at the launch.