Residents along Lake Champlain bay ask boaters to anchor elsewhere

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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WILLSBORO, N.Y. (WCAX) - A battle between residents and boaters in one Lake Champlain bay is making waves. Residents hand-delivered a note asking boaters to spend their time elsewhere.

The letter reads pretty clearly that residents of Willsboro Bay want boaters to stay quiet or get out. But the town supervisor is making it clear the town does not share this view.

Eric Tremblay is an avid Lake Champlain sailor. He loves it so much, he’s a moderator for a Lake Champlain sailing Facebook group with 5,000 members.

He says when it comes to overnight anchoring, Willsboro Bay is one of the best places around.

“It’s an excellent location to be protected from any southerly winds,” Tremblay explained.

Over the weekend, there was a post about a woman kayaking the bay hand-delivering a note telling boaters that landlocked residents aren’t able to enjoy their summers because boaters are too loud and anchor too close to shore.

“The note was surprising,” Tremblay said. “I have lived through a night’s worth of heavy partying coming from other boats. I can understand that someone that’s landlocked kind of wanting to blow off some steam.”

The note ends by asking boaters to anchor elsewhere.

The letter to boaters signed the residents of Willsboro Bay Cove.
The letter to boaters signed the residents of Willsboro Bay Cove.(WCAX)

Tremblay says most boaters are aware of nearby residents and remain respectful.

“I kind of was surprised that it got to the extent that someone asking that boaters no longer anchor in a specific area,” Tremblay said.

“We value our visitors, we value our resource that is the bay,” Willsboro Town Supervisor Shaun Gillilland said.

Willsboro Town Supervisor Shaun Gillilland says he was shocked to learn a resident would do this.

“Doesn’t reflect the values of this town or this community in the least,” Gillilland said.

Gillilland says summer tourists, by land and water, give back to the community by eating and staying local, something he doesn’t want to see leave their town.

“Please keep coming to Willsboro and please keep enjoying our amenities,” Gillilland said.

Tremblay says he understands that everyone just wants to enjoy the lake and that the land and lake community should work together to find solutions so everyone can do just that.

“Certainly awareness and policing the area will manage both,” he said.

Tremblay says they are trying to spread the word to boaters that there are many safe places to anchor overnight that wouldn’t disturb residents and he plans to post them in that group and hand flyers out at the marina for proper boating etiquette.

Gillilland emphasizes that he wants all visitors to come and stay in the bay.

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