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Boat Landing Commission drawing up recommendations for future improvements
boat landing
The Boscobel Boat Landing can be a busy place when a large group of canoeists arrives Sunday after a weekend camping trip on the Lower Wisconsin River, like this group of 78 from the Ginger Creek Community Church in Aurora, Ill. They left Gotham Saturday morning on their 12th annual canoe trip here, camped on a sandbar near Port Andrew Saturday night, and arrived in Boscobel late Sunday morning.


When the Boscobel Boat Landing Commission met for the first time last month they agreed that no user fees would be assessed this year. They also voted to reverse a previous Grant County ordinance and allow open containers and alcohol at the landing, but no glass containers.

On Monday afternoon the Commission met for their second meeting, this time at the boat landing itself. They are currently drawing up recommendations to the Park Board, which will then pass on their own recommendations to the Common Council for final approval.

An ongoing problem at the landing has been accommodating parking for both canoeists and kayakers, and fishermen with boats on trailers. Everyone agreed that in the past the signage has been confusing.

“I think there needs to be more signs to tell people where to park, as far as trailers and non-trailers,” said Jerry Vial.

“You’ve got signs all over the place,” responded City Administrator Arlie Harris. “We need to start over. We need proper signage, but not too many.”

The Commission voted to designate the dozen “Trailer Parking Only” with small signs and yellow paint, as opposed to white paint for the non-trailer parking.

“We need to designate those (trailer-only) parking spots because the people who park here don’t live here. They don’t know,” said Scott Teuber, a Commission member and owner of Wisconsin River Outings in Boscobel, which rented out 110 canoes here last weekend.

In order to consolidate signage for issues like hours, glass, littering and camping, Teuber suggested building a kiosk near the landing area, perhaps built by students from Southwest Tech or Boscobel High School.

“You could sell advertising space on there as well, that would offset some of our costs,” he said.  “There’s no rush; we’re talking about next spring anyway.”

“I think if you’re going to do it, make it look nice,” added Harris.

Mayor Steve Wetter would like to see the opening to the Wisconsin River widened as much as the Department of Natural Resources will allow, perhaps two or three times its current width. While he was making his point a canoe with two young women came into view and quickly floated past the opening to the landing. After some hard paddling they came into view and made it into the landing.

“There’s a prime example right there. Open that up,” he said. “If they don’t hit it just right, they’re in trouble. It’s all about safety.”

Wetter also suggested filling in the southern half of the landing with sand to offer more parking or possibly overnight camping, which is presently prohibited. Most of the southern half of the landing is plagued by stagnant water and blue-green algae in the summer.

“How do you get water to flow through hear and clean it out?” asked Teuber. “You can add sand down there, but you still haven’t solved the muck issue. You need to get a hydrologist down here. If we could get away with filling half of that lagoon up, I’m all for it.”

However, Vial pointed out that in the springtime many people of all ages fish in that area.

Eventually, Commission members agreed to fill in approximately 200 feet at the southern end of the landing, as well as cover the concrete slabs on the west end of the landing and slope the eastern side more gradually to the water line to make it easier for people to remove their canoes or kayaks.

“We are allowed to fill that it because it’s not original wetlands, it’s manmade,” Wetter said.

The Commission also voted to add two additional security street lights to the east end of the parking lot. There are currently only two lights on the west side of the parking lot next to the landing.

The recommendations will now move on to the Park Board.