District ends lunch-hour lock closures, benefitting boaters, anglers
PALATKA, Fla., Oct. 2, 2019 — Boaters in central Florida will be in for a pleasant surprise this week if they visit the navigational locks on the Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes. Effective immediately, the locks will remain open through the noon hour as a courtesy to Florida boaters and anglers.
For more than 40 years, the St. Johns River Water Management District has been operating the locks between the lakes the agency manages in central Florida using water control structures. For decades, the locks have closed from noon to 1 p.m.
With the new fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, the district has removed the midday closure times at the Apopka Lock, between lakes Apopka and Beauclair, and the Burrell Lock, between lakes Eustis and Griffin, both in Lake County, and the Moss Bluff Lock in Marion County, between Lake Griffin and the Ocklawaha River.
Signs on the locks also will be changing permanently to eliminate the midday closing. The regular hours of the lock operation will not otherwise change and will remain open for the winter season times of 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and the summer months from 7 a.m. –7 p.m.