Just as Minnesota’s boating season warms up, Lake Minnetonka and six other Hennepin County lakes are under wake restrictions because of high water.
Slow- to no-wake orders are in effect until lake levels drop, the Sheriff’s Office said Friday in a prepared statement.
The other six lakes with restrictions are Lake Independence in Medina, Fish Lake in Maple Grove, Twin and Crystal lakes in Robbinsdale, Medicine Lake in Plymouth and Long Lake in Long Lake.
Restrictions vary by city, and the Sheriff’s Office recommended reviewing them before heading out to a lake.
“We want to make it clear that the lakes in question are still open and accessible to the public,” said Sheriff Dave Hutchinson. “The high water ordinances are in effect to protect the public and prevent damage to structures and property on the lake. The public is still welcome to enjoy the lakes while these ordinances are in place.”
Speed limits and wake restrictions protect shoreline, boat lifts and other structures. The Sheriff’s Office recommended that people in boats make sure the wake moving out from a watercraft and trailing behind is of insufficient size to affect other watercraft or to be detrimental to the shoreline.
Violators will receive a verbal or written warning, but repeat offenders will be ticketed, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities also offered several safety reminders:
• Boaters should slow down and make an extra effort to act courteously on crowded lakes and rivers.
• Designate a sober boat operator before your day of boating.
• Sophia’s Law requires that all recreational boats that have an enclosed compartment, including sailboats with motors, be equipped with a watercraft carbon monoxide detector.
• State law requires children 10 years old and under to wear properly fitted life jackets while boating. It is highly recommended that all children and adults wear life jackets while boating.
• State law requires that life jackets are readily accessible for all people on board a boat.
• Be aware of the danger of a boat propeller. People in the water have been injured by propellers while attempting to re-enter a boat.