No-wake limit was nice while it lasted

  • Article by: SCOTT SEARL
  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 7:04 PM

Maybe we could set aside one day a week on Minnetonka for peace and quiet, and to enjoy the pelicans and the paddle boarders, the kids and the kayaks.


A man used a paddle board to cross an unusually serene Lake Minnetonka.

Photo: JIM GEHRZ • Star Tribune,

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It’s good news that the water level on Lake Minnetonka is slowly dropping to the level that will allow a lessening of the wake restriction.

At the same time, the wake restrictions have provided some amazing sights. I’ve seen two “flocks” of pelicans, numbering seven or eight at a time, more loons than usual and many, many cormorants. I’ve seen paddle boarders out in the middle of the lake on a Saturday. And I’ve seen more kids on docks, water trampolines, kayaks and swim platforms than any summer before.

I know folks will be excited to water ski, Jet Ski and cruise at regular speeds. I know restaurants, boat rentals and the like will welcome a more normal lake. I know my brother will be glad to get his flooded yard put back together.

However, I’ve enjoyed the slower, calmer, nature-filled no-wake time. I enjoyed the slow trek home from the Excelsior July 4 fireworks. I’ve enjoyed the calm, quiet weekend water.

As we return to normal, I wonder if there could ever be a time when Lake Minnetonka could have that “Up North” kind of feel again; a sense of calm and quiet without the high water.

Maybe someone might think of a “No-Wake Wednesday,” where one day each week could be set aside to let the lake and its users rest. One day for pelicans and paddle boarders. One day for kayaks and canoes. One day for swimming and slow boating.

Wishful thinking, I’m sure. Still, it was nice for a bit.

So until the next 100-year high-water mark … let the Jet Skis fly! I’m sure the pelicans have already started their trek north, or wherever they go, and I’m not coordinated enough for those paddle boards anyway!

But I’ll still dream of “No-Wake Wednesday” and the quiet calm of the first half of summer 2014.


Scott Searl lives on Halsted’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

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