Boat tour agency trying to stay afloat amid Fox River low water levels

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The owner of River Tyme Tours and Bistro, Candice Mortara, says her business is hurting due to the Fox River low water levels.

Mortara owns a double-decker boat in De Pere and a single-deck boat in Appleton.

“The water in De Pere is 10 inches lower than it needs to be for our boat to leave the dock safely, and that has been the case for the last three, four weeks. We were trying to get tours out, and we actually ruined two propellers doing that, so we had to replace those,” said Mortara.

Her De Pere boat is now docked and empty on the Fox River.

Meanwhile, she is keeping business afloat with the help of her Appleton boat called River Tyme Too. It handles all the tours in Appleton, but it only fits 35 passengers. The De Pere boat has space for 49.

Customers are disappointed when their reservation is canceled or transferred to Appleton.

Mortara added that the Army Corps of Engineers can’t help. If it opens canal gates, Lake Winnebago would hurt.

“It’s stressful, and it’s trying to figure out what to do in the future. Is this going to be the new normal, or is it just a one year anomaly? It’s impossible to know, so it’s hard to plan,” said Mortara.

If the issue continue, and bookings slow down, Mortara fears she’ll have to let go of a few employees and sell her double-decker.

She hopes customers continue to book in Appleton, and also help support her other business in the area called River Tyme Bistro.

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