AUGUSTA (WJBF)- Since early April high water levels kept the gates to boating docs and parking lots closed. 

Augusta Fire Department announced to the public that the South Boat Ramp is now open to boaters. 

“Man, I love it. Actually, I was down yesterday as well– I had a good fishing day and today I’m back at it again. So, I’m really enjoying my time down here,” Henry White said.

About one-inch of thick mud caused by flooding was also removed from the parking lot.

Boaters we spoke to say they’re glad to be back out on the water, especially close to home. 

“I’ve been here more than a couple times, I don’t live but about 10 miles away. It’s close by to my house, otherwise I need to drive to Clark Hill,” Jonathan Merritt said.

Some people come from different parts of Georgia just to fish and boat at the Lock and Dam.

“I’m traveling, now fishing. Actually, I’m from Newnan, Georgia– down here with my nephew enjoying fishing time with him in Augusta,” White said.

But, while it was closed, they had to find other places to go which was out of the way for some local anglers.

“We went to Oconee Lake, down there in Sparta, Georgia. [About], probably say about 46 miles– somewhere along there,” Kenneth Reeves said.

One person said they normally use a ramp where it’s easier to trailer their boat and were cautious using the ramp below the lock and dam.

“I don’t know how well it’s going to be today with the water being so high. I generally put in above the lock because the water is [more quiet]. It’s easier to get in and out. The currents are kind of difficult when you’re trying to get your boat back on the trailer here,” Merritt said.

As for the North side Boat ramp, Augusta Fire says there is still no date when it will reopen due to debris that still needs to be picked up.