No-wake rules lifted for St. Croix near Stillwater

  • Updated: June 28, 2012 - 11:19 PM

Caution still urged

No-wake restrictions for boaters have been lifted on the St. Croix River.

After a week without rain in the metro area, the St. Croix at Stillwater on Thursday fell below the state-established level that requires boaters to travel at speeds that don't generate wakes.

However, officials are still urging boaters to take it easy and safely.

"It's still dangerous out there," said Molly Shodeen, DNR area hydrologist. "The current is moving fast and there's still a lot of debris. There's still a lot of potential for shoreline erosion."

The river has dropped a foot since Monday and is predicted to drop another foot by Sunday.

Because of wet ground, Stillwater may close some areas in Lowell Park where the public might normally watch July 4 fireworks, said public works Director Shawn Sanders. But the show is still scheduled for 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the three locks and dams on the Mississippi River in the metro area to commercial barge traffic. Flow on the river dropped below the 40,000 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) level regarded as unsafe even for big commercial watercraft.

The locks are still not open to recreational boats, but they will be once the river's flow drops below 30,000 cfs, which is expected in five to seven days, cutting it close to the holiday. Boaters who don't need to use the locks are still able to cruise the river, however.

BILL MCAULIFFE

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