(Douglas County) The Douglas County Board of Commissioners are now implementing no wake zones on 19 Douglas County lakes. At a Monday, June 17th meeting the commissioners made the determination. County Commissioner Jerry Rapp talked about the reasons for a No Wake Zone policy prior to Monday's meeting (AUDIO BELOW):
Douglas County Emergency Management Director Julie Anderson says the county has the authority the enforce a no wake policy if it is deemed necessary. She hopes people will abide by the no wake zone restrictions if they see them posted on a Douglas County lake (AUDIO BELOW):
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.”