The new Lake Mauvaisterre Boat Launch was officially opened this morning as city leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor Andy Ezard was joined by members of the Jacksonville Parks and Lakes Department, the City Council, and various civic organizations this morning to officially open the new boat launch aimed at allowing more access to the lake.
The project was completed in October of last year after the city was able to secure a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Lake Superintendent Brett Gilbreth says the project addressed a longtime complaint that the lake was inaccessible for the majority of boaters who would otherwise use the lake.
“It’s been a big issue we’ve talked about for several years. We can’t thank the State of Illinois enough for making these grants available to us, and all the people that put time and effort into making it what it is. One of the biggest problems we’ve had is actual access, so now we anticipate this to really pick up.
We’re going to keep going and keep adding some new things. We’ve got fish trucks that coming, all kinds of good stuff. But yeah this should allow our residents and even people from out of town to come in and enjoy the lake more than they ever have.”
Mayor Andy Ezard says the City of Jacksonville is constantly looking for new recreational options that can be offered for area residents.
“This has been a great project for our community. It’s a smaller scale project however it’s going to attract a lot of folks to Lake Mauvaisterre. It’s going to definitely give a new recreational opportunity of ease to get into the lake. We’ve heard folks over the years saying access, and we’ve finally been able to make it happen with a grant from IDNR. We were happy to work with my Superintendent Brett Gilbreth and Jim Burke of Hutchison Engineering and we got it done.
We like projects like this. It’s a $200,000 grant that took care of this accessible boat launch. But in the big picture, we are constantly trying to have new recreational opportunities for Jacksonville, and by doing this project we were able to accomplish one.”
The project included the building of an entirely new ramp and dock allowing for boats to be launched in deeper water than the previous ramp could provide. A new paved parking area was also added to the renovations.
Gilbreth says with larger boats now being able to access Lake Mauvaisterre, some adjustments had to be made to the existing horsepower restrictions.
“The old rule used to be twenty-five horsepower only. But after speaking to the Mayor we’ve discussed that it’s still a twenty-five horse lake, but we will allow boats and motors out here in excess of twenty-five, but they are to remain at idle speed only.
This launch will be able to house some bass fishing boats that typically wouldn’t have been able to get on this lake in previous years.”
The new boat launch is set to the east of the existing wood dock near Kiwanis Grove and is ADA accessible. The launch has been open since it was completed in late October.