Port Authorities,Kayak Launch fee's?

We live in Eastlake,Ohio. We been kayaking for a few years now and always went to this place near us and just dropped our yaks in free of charge. We havent been in awhile but went today and now a husband/ wife team sits there in chairs doing crossword puzzles saying I have to pay $2.00 a kayak. I asked why,they said they took over for the port authority. They have no register,receipts,Cash Only type of system going on. I tried looking the Eastlake Ohio Port Authority up and didn’t find much at all.

Im not trying to be a cheap skate,but at the same time,this place is only a couple of miles from me and we use to like to take our kayaks out daily so being a family of 4 this could really add up per month. They also rent kayaks and by all means,rent a kayak/paddle/pfd pay the price. But I dont feel I should have to pay to put my own yak in the river as the next city marina/kayak rental place lets you drop in you’re own gear in for free,Doesnt matter if you live in that city or not! If you rent you pay,You have you’re own gear you are able to put in the public river for free.

So just wondering if this is a norm and im just not use to it,Or is there some fishy business going on here that I should look into? Any info would be appreciated,Thanks!

what authority do they have or credentials?

Yes, you really should look into it. I would go directly to the Port Commissioners and let them know you are very unhappy with this practice if in fact they authorized it. If there are other kayakers who also use the site, talk to them and see if you can organize a protest.

If your situation is anything like where I live, the port authority receives tax revenue from property owners and for decades the ordinary citizens never received any benefit at all from paying those taxes. Finally the port took over a park on the river and improved it to where now the public can use it for free–which it was free before–but now they have improved security and are keeping out the riffraff, thieves, drunks, druggies and punks.

I find it extremely irritating for any area that has great water resources to block all access to the water unless you pay. It has gotten so bad that we have to buy a permit every year just to go on Department of Natural Resources land (the forests) that we the citizens own in the first place. The money is not used in any way to improve the forests–it’s just another over reaching government ripoff. I buy the permit, because it also allows us to use a handful of other facilities which are maintained by the permit revenue, but in some cases the facilities are barely maintained.

It sounds suspicious enough I’d be looking into it. Hell, I’m going to look into running a great scam like that! :slight_smile: Just kidding.

Google Maps shows you’re pretty close to Lake Erie, are there no other places you can put in - or are you more interested in smaller, protected bodies of water? I’d be spending a good amount of time researching other places to paddle, along with determining where your $2 is going and why. Granted, it isn’t much, but I agree that there is little reason to charge for paddlecraft launching from public places.

Get creative in your search. You might have to carry your boat farther, but look for public places with water nearby, and there’s almost certain to be a place you can use to get a boat in the water.

I’ve tried ads on Kijiji in the past to find private land owners to whom I could pay a small parking fee for water access. I blame my lack of success to the poor (yet mostly deserved) reputation paddlers around here (SW Ontario, Canada) as loud drunken partiers who cause damage and leave garbage in their wake.

Is it a kayak/canoe launch site, with parking and signage stating who manages it? If so, there’s your contact info.

My local lake is owned by the water company. It’s $5 for one-time use or $30 for the year. Although I don’t like paying it, it’s a beautiful lake with no motors over 10hp and none of those blasted jetskis. Since it’s only a mile away from my home I save money not having to drive a long way so it’s worth it.

I can’t remember the city. It might have been Jacksonville, Fl where a fellow died. He used to manage a parking lot for events, for as long as anyone could remember. Someone was wondering who would take over the collecting of money, parking cars, etc. That is when they discovered the guy didn’t own the land or work for the land owner. He just collected the money. All of it was likely tax free income.

Well, I’d call city hall and see if they have a number for the Port Authority. You could just go to the port authority meeting on the third Thursday of the month and ask the question but that might make you look unprepared. Call first. Here is the web site, eastlakeohio.com/index.php/2013-08-26-18-17-16/boards-commissions That fellow Mark Cain was on the 2013 planning of the up grade to the boat ramp… crwp.org/files/Eastlake_Port_Authority_ParkPlanning_presentation.pdf

The “Cash only” and no receipts thing makes this all very suspicious. It sounds kind of like a scam to me, you should definitely complain to the port authorities.