- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

McHENRY, Md. (AP) If you plan to visit Deep Creek Lake this summer, prepare to be asked about boats.
Many visitors and adjacent landowners will be surveyed for a state-funded study of boat use on Maryland's largest freshwater lake, according to ERM Inc., the contractor conducting the study.
An company representative outlined the plans during a public meeting of the Deep Creek Lake Policy and Review Board, a 10-member local panel that shares regulatory authority with the state.
The nearly $90,000 study of the lake's carrying capacity is aimed at establishing physical, environmental and social limits for recreational and commercial use of the water. It stems from the state's purchase of the 3,900-acre resort lake in Garrett County three years ago.
Some lakeside residents say there already are too many boats or at least too many noisy ones.
"The boat situation is beyond capacity, in my estimation, right now," said John Cobb, a former publishing executive who has owned a home on the Western Maryland lake since 1992.
"Pretty soon, what we came up here to retire to and get away from is going to be lost to development."
A similar study in 1988 recommended a boat limit of 350. Tallies taken by the state's Department of Natural Resources in the early 1990s showed that on busy summer weekends, the number of watercraft on the lake exceeded that number about 25 percent of the time.
A growth spurt since then has added more year-round residents, vacation homes and rental properties. Kevin Potter said return visitors to his rental properties have remarked on the change.
"The general experience is more boats, more traffic and sort of more recklessness on the lake," he said.

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