By Ron VandenBoom
Volunteers from the Havre Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited braved the elements Friday to upgrade the Fresno Reservoir boat dock with wave whackers.
The plastic, barrel-shaped, wave busters are part of a two-year project to improve the boat dock area at Fresno and make it safer and easier for recreationists to enter and exit their boats.
According to Stan Badilla, Hi-Line resource manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, 70 of the white and orange wave whackers will be filled about half full of water and will surround the boat landing area. The whackers will be tied together with a chain that is attached to anchored buoys planted in the lake during the winter.
"They slow the wave action down," said Mike Badgley, spokesman for the lighting project at the dock.
Badgley explained that a west or southwest wind creates a difficult and dangerous situation for sportsmen at the lake and the whackers will make it "a whole lot easier loading or unloading your boat."
"It makes it a whole lot safer, too," he said.
The whackers were supplied by the Bureau of Reclamation.
Also on the list of projects Walleyes Unlimited has been working on over the last two years is lighting the boat docks and rest areas at the lake.
Two lights have so far been installed, Badgley said.
One is above the boat dock area near the rest rooms and the other is near the boat dock next to the rest room.
Steve Chvilicek, of Frontier Lawn and Landscaping, did the trenching work for the light poles and they were installed April 6 and 7, Badgley said, adding that Hill County Electric personnel also donated their time to the project.
Montana Power Company is also helping with the lighting project by donating a pole that will be installed near the Kremlin Bay boat dock of Fresno, Badgley said.
Not a part of the Walleyes Unlimited project, but still an important addition to the boat dock area, is the retaining wall completed last year by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The project cost in excess of $125,000 and is designed to prevent erosion from occurring near the boat landing area.
Badilla said he believes the wave whackers will also help prevent more erosion in this area.