HELENA – With beautiful weather outside, many people took the opportunity to get out on the water at one of Montana’s lakes. On Sunday, Canyon Ferry Lake was full of boats, of all sizes and kinds.
“It’s perfect, not too hot and not too cold,” said Bob DeWitt, visiting from the Manhattan area.
DeWitt and his family traveled from the Silos to the north side of the reservoir Sunday.
“It’s a nice leisurely ride from the Silos up here, then we have lunch, then knock around a little bit and motor back,” he said.
At Kim’s Marina and RV Resort, managers said the days since the Fourth of July holiday have been their busiest period so far this year. They said they’ve seen strong business in dock and boat rentals and in RV camping.
Laura Westmiller recently moved to the Canyon Ferry area. She started working at Kim’s Marina in April to help owners Maryann and Greg Axtman, her neighbors.
“This has been wild,” she said. “I’ve been in a resort area before and this was a new experience. The lake is full and everyone has come out, so we’re having a lot of fun out here.”
Westmiller said this has been the first really warm weekend they’ve seen this season.
“We were teased with it about a month ago for one day, and everyone got very excited,” she said. “The last few days, we feel like summer really arrived. We’re selling a lot of sunscreen.”
Steve Graham and his grandson Aundre DeCrane came all the way from Pryor to spend several days on Canyon Ferry.
“We just like the country and the town, we know a lot of people around here, we’ve got a lot of family that comes up here,” said Graham. “So everybody gets together every once in a while to do fishing, boat tubing.”
“I like coming out here to have fun, fish, and see what we catch below the water,” DeCrane said. “Most of all, the weather’s really nice. It’s really nice boating.”
Increased activity on the water has also meant more boats going through the state watercraft inspection stations around Canyon Ferry. Authorities are still requiring all watercraft leaving Canyon Ferry to be inspected and decontaminated, over concerns about the possibility of spreading invasive mussels. Inspectors at one station said they had checked more than 140 boats on July 4 alone.
As this weekend comes to an end, many of the people on Canyon Ferry said they’re now looking forward to the rest of the season.
“The water’s great; time for people to come out,” said DeWitt.