Shallow rocks and fallen tree branches are just two of the things hiding beneath area lakes that can cause boating accidents. Crews with the Tennessee Valley Authority are working in December to keep you safe this summer.
Believe it or not, winter is the perfect time to hit the lake, but it's not for what you would expect. Crews with TVA are making rivers and lakes all across Tennessee safer by inspecting hazard buoys.
We braced the wind and frigid temperatures on Watauga Lake to tag along with a crew.
"We make sure the [buoys] are where they're supposed to be. If buoys are missing for whatever reason we go back in and try to replace those," said Chuck Bach with TVA.
Levels at the lake are so low right now, you can see the hidden rocks. Crews were anchoring buoys to the exposed rocks. "[Buoys] are really for those boaters out there if you're not familiar with Watauga," added Travis Brickey with TVA.
News 5 learned inspecting buoys is also an opportunity to install more of them to prevent accidents during boating season. "Last summer we had some areas with some boating accidents because of some shallow rocks under the water," said Brickey.
For those fishermen not letting low lake levels call the shots, TVA officials warn to go slow, be cautious, and stay in familiar water. "Have a good time, go out and enjoy, but be careful while you're out there. Look for the buoys and for underwater obstacles," added Brickey.
TVA officials say lake levels have dropped to their lowest for the season. They're about 20 feet below the target summer level.