New Jersey state police warned this week that the Oyster Creek Channel – currently the only marked channel leading to Barnegat Inlet – is dangerous to navigate due to shoaling.
The state police warned of “significant” shoaling in the channel, which leads from the inner portion of the bay to a dyke which runs along High Bar Harbor and into the main inlet channel near the Barnegat Lighthouse.
“Boaters are advised to use extreme caution navigating,” the state police said.
The United States Coast Guard said in a statement that its crews had relocated a number of buoys in the channel in order to compensate for the shoaling, though dangerous conditions continue to persist. The bulk of the shoaling is located in between buoy markers 36 and 40, the Coast Guard said.
Since last year, the Oyster Creek Channel – the northernmost way to reach Barnegat Inlet – has been the only marked channel from the bay to the inlet. The Double Creek Channel, which funnels boat traffic from the southern portion of the bay to the inlet, was closed due to the similar shoaling issues last April.