Scarborough Bluffs boaters are looking at a disappointing Victoria Day weekend as their pathway into the lake is clogged with silt.

With a mild winter resulting in low water levels, there’s barely enough depth for boats to leave the marina.

The Bluffers Park section of Lake Ontario is home to four boat clubs, which share a channel to get out on open water.

This year, water levels in the lake are about 27 centimetres below average. That’s not a drastic fluctuation for the lake as a whole, but it means a lot for the channel, which is the settling ground for sand from the eroding bluffs.

“I don’t want to risk hitting a rock,” said Trevor Lachapelle, a member of the Cathedral Bluffs Yacht Club for two years. He and his wife own a cabin cruiser power boat. It has a 50-centimetre draft, the depth of water needed for the boat to float.

“It’s too shallow,” said Lachapelle, who was at the club last weekend. He saw a few sailboats attempt the channel, only to have to be pulled back in.

“It’s not worth the risk ... You could draw sand up through the cooling system into the engine.”

Other boaters, determined to get their summer started had dinghies tow them out.

The canal will be dredged starting next week.