High water levels lead to 'no wake' lakes

  • Updated: July 18, 2011 - 11:47 PM

Thanks to the heavy rain this past weekend, watercraft on some metro lakes must not make waves until restrictions are lifted.

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Lake Byllesby Regional Park

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NO SPLASHING, PLEASE

Even with the torrid temperatures, unusually high water levels at a few metro lakes have led to some temporary boating restrictions.

The heavy rains this past weekend caused Lake Marion, a popular all-purpose recreational lake in Lakeville, to be designated a "no wake" lake, meaning that watercraft can only go at the slowest possible speed necessary to steer.

With water at levels not seen since the early 1990s, waves could damage the shore, officials said.

"It can start to cause erosion on the shorelines and with the people that live on the lake, their docks can eventually be damaged," said Sgt. Jim Iliff, the head of the Dakota County Sheriff's parks, lakes and trails division.

FINES IN EFFECT

Signs were posted, and the county water patrol was out enforcing the rule on Sunday.

Some revelers were caught off guard and given citations, which could cost them about $200, Iliff said.

Another lake in Dakota County that was affected by the large rainfall was Lake Byllesby, the biggest lake in the south metro, which is formed by the Byllesby Dam on the Cannon River.

The Dakota County water resources department asked for the no-wake restriction on the lake, Iliff said.

The water patrol contacted the operators of 15 to 20 boats combined on the two lakes, Iliff said.

LAKE GERVAIS, TOO

A no-wake restriction was also instituted at Lake Gervais, located in Little Canada and Maplewood, said Ramsey County sheriff's spokesman Randy Gustafson.

"It's an unusual situation, so it isn't quite the same as when you have a speed limit sign which people see all the time, so I can understand that there might be a little bit of confusion by some folks," Gustafson said.

A FEW MORE DAYS

The "no wake" rule at Lake Marion will be in place until at least the end of the week, said Steve Michaud, parks and recreation director in Lakeville. Until then, boaters should find another watering hole, he said.

"Unless they enjoy floating."

NICOLE NORFLEET

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