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No-Wake Zones in Effect on 19 Area Lakes

Posted: 06/17/2019

Category: County Board

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To protect the shorelines of lakes in Douglas County, the Board of Commissioners approved a recommendation to enact temporary slow, no-wake zones on 19 lakes. These no-wake zones will be in effect from June 17 through July 15.

“Lake levels are extraordinarily high right now,” said Dave Rush, Director of the Land and Resource Management Department for Douglas County. “Many lakes are experiencing water up to a foot above the ordinary highwater mark. That highwater level is already doing substantial damage to shorelines and fast-moving watercraft will exacerbate the problem. The no-wake restrictions will limit environmental damage and shoreline erosion.”     

The no-wake restrictions require that all watercraft operating within 300 feet of the shoreline not exceed a speed whereby a wake or wave is produced behind the watercraft. That means they must operate at approximately 5 miles per hour.

The following lakes are included in this mandatory no-wake restriction: Brophy, Burgen, Carlos, Chippewa, Cowdry, Darling, Devils, Geneva, Ida, Latoka, Le Homme Dieu, Little Chippewa, Lobster, Louise, Maple, Miltona, Rachel, Vermont and Victoria.

Minnesota Rules Chapter 6110.3700, administered by the Department of Natural Resources, allows counties to enact temporary controls on lakes. Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol will be enforcing the no-wake restrictions. Violations are a petty misdemeanor.

Signs informing the public of the no-wake restrictions will be posted at all public accesses to the affected lakes and at channels between lakes.

“We appreciate watercraft operators understanding how important these restrictions are,” said Rush.  “We also encourage boaters on all lakes in Douglas County to slow down and use caution when operating near the shorelines while water remains high.”

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