High water at the Green Bay Metro boat launch has left sections of boat docks on the Fox River underwater. But at the urging of one man, City Hall is now trying to deal with the issue
At the mouth of the Fox River city crews are working to correct an issue, that bait shop owner Jeff Tilkens says has put many people in harm’s way.
“One guy yesterday fell and hit his head, cut his head open and a gentleman last week fell and hurt his back,” said the owner of Smokey’s on the Bay.
The problem is near record high water levels on the Bay of Green Bay. Water that hides the ramps leading up to the floating docks. Ramps which over time have become coated with algae.
“Bring your hip boots, your knee high boots and remember those docks are super slippery under the water because the algae forming on top of them,” said fisherman Kevin Pischke.
“People are actually falling and hurting themselves, so it’s a huge liability for the city of Green Bay,” said Tilkens.
Tilkens says the situation has anglers heading elsewhere, where they don’t need to worry when launching a boat.
“We’re missing out on hotels, restaurants, gas and my baits,” he said.
Upset Tilkens called City Hall and to his surprise, the mayor’s office quickly took action.
“We have some crews out their today doing some retrofitting and fixing,” said the mayor’s Chief of Staff, Celestine Jeffreys.
Jeffreys says the city has started work to lift all submerged ramps out of the water to again provide boaters safe access to these floating docks.
“Starting with the way the ramp articulates with the parking lot, making sure it’s secure and how the floating docks articulate with the ramp,” Jeffreys said.
A temporary fix for near record high water levels that Tilkens says was sorely needed.
“In order to be safe you’ve got to fix those docks,” said Tilkens.
Jeffreys says the docks are 30 years old and the city will likely start looking for a more permanent solution.