HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Day use fee policies for Sutton Lake, in Braxton County, are in the process of being changed, officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced.

With the changes, the boat launch fee will remain the same as in the past, however, beach users will need to pay the day use fee as well beginning in May 2022. Only credit card payments will be accepted at that time – no cash will be collected or accepted, officials said.

Automated fee machines are being installed in the Bee Run and South Abutment areas and visitors will be expected to pay the $5 fee to use the boat launches and swimming beach. Customers will receive a receipt to display on their vehicle dash, face up, where the date can clearly be seen. Park Rangers will periodically check the vehicles within the recreation areas to ensure payment. Once the fee is paid, it is good for all day-use areas that day. Those who do not have a credit card can purchase a pre-paid credit card from local convenience stores, officials said.

The fee machines are being strategically located to help minimize traffic congestion at the boat ramps, swimming beach and parking areas. Customers with Annual Passes, Senior Passes, Access Passes or other relevant America the Beautiful Passes, do not need to stop at the fee machines; passes should be properly displayed in the vehicle dash so they can be seen from the outside of the vehicle.

Annual Day use passes may be purchased at the fee machines for $40. Customers have 10 days to take their Annual Pass receipt to the Sutton Lake Office in Sutton or to the Gerald R. Freeman Campground Entrance Station to exchange it for a hard pass.

The move is being made to minimize traffic congestion at launch ramps, to discontinue the handling, accounting and security challenges of accepting cash, and to better align with national Corps of Engineers policy.

Boaters have been assessed these fees since 1996 and have competed for parking and amenity usage with other visitors who were not assessed the fee. All vehicles accessing the boat launch or swim beach in Bee Run and the boat launch in the South Abutment area will need to pay. Shelter and playground users will not be assessed an additional fee. Shelter reservations may still be made for guaranteed exclusive use of those facilities.

Information on the America The Beautiful passes can be found online. The pass is honored at all Corps operated Day Use Areas nationwide.