A recent working group report of CLEAR showed that Cheat Lake is currently at carrying capacity during summer weekends and holidays. The study used a framework of published literature from the field of Parks and Recreation, the National Park Service, U.S. EPA Environmental Impact Statements, and lake management planning. Simply described, the carrying capacity of Cheat Lake is the number of motorboats that it can safely hold at one time. This survey used three criteria to determine carrying capacity: 1) the amount of space a boat needs to operate safely; 2) shoreline accessibility for emergency landings; and 3) the perceived congestion of boats. The results indicate that the lake is currently operating at or above peak capacity during times of high use if only 25% of the registered boats are in operation and only 35 boats are launched for day use. The results are conservative estimates based upon all the available data. The findings clearly show that any additional boats such as the 100 additional boat slips and public launch proposed in Morgan Run by Sure Ventures, LLC would make the overcrowding on high use days even worse. Safety could become an even more important issue on Cheat Lake.
Frank Jernejcic, of WV-DNR, reports that a new boat ramp will be installed at the Cheat Lake Park and Trail. It will be used for small fishing boats wishing to put in during the winter months. The ramp will be at the site of the present carry-down access on the main lake between Rubles Run and Morgans Run. The boat ramp will allow boats to put in during the low winter water levels. It will be accessible from the road at the Cheat Lake Park and Trail. "Our engineer is now working on a design." says Frank.