Maricopa County warns about debris in Lake Pleasant

Sticks, branches and other debris have covered parts of Lake Pleasant and boaters need to be aware.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:16 PM MST
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PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Big branches, sticks and muck are filling the water in Lake Pleasant. Maricopa County Parks and Recreation say all the recent rain and snowmelt have sent debris down the Agua Fria River right into the water. “Over the next couple of weeks, we anticipate the amount of debris entering the lake from the Agua Fria River will continue to increase as the snow melts. Lake staff are marking impacted areas as quickly as possible; however, park visitors must also be diligent as they are recreating at the lake,” Maricopa County Parks and Recreation director R.J. Cardin said.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy Bryce Allmon patrols Lake Pleasant. He says he has never seen so much debris in the water floating around. “You’ll get debris every once in a while with stuff coming down the river, but not to this degree,” Deputy Allmon said. “For people coming out it’s definitely something they need to be aware of.”

There are two ways to get in and out of Paulden and both roads are flooded.

Allmon says things you see on the surface are usually larger than they appear. You may see an inch or two of debris, but it sinks lower beneath the surface. The debris can be dangerous for people on the water. Hitting a branch or sticks can damage engines and toss people around on the boat, and potentially overboard. “Things like that can hit your prop. It’s not a good idea to run it over.”

So far, MCSO says there have been no incidents involving debris. Allmon says the lake gets busier once Easter arrives. The county parks and recreation department expects more debris to flow into the lake over the next week or two.