Boaters on the St. Croix River are being instructed to back off the throttle as no-wake speeds take effect today between Taylors Falls, Minn., and Prescott, Wis., the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said today.

"With spring snow melt and recent precipitation, water levels on the St. Croix River are projected to rise to the point where boaters will be required to slow down to minimize shoreline damages," the DNR said in a statement.

The restriction is triggered when the St. Croix reaches 683 feet above sea level at Stillwater.

Officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota and the National Park Service will be posting signs regarding the requirement at all public accesses, and marina operators have been notified.

The purpose is to limit shoreline erosion and resulting property damage in areas not usually susceptible to waves at lower water levels.

The high water also means that many islands in the St. Croix will be flooded and unusable for recreation, the DNR said.

With rain forecast later this week, the rule may affect anglers taking advantage of the Wisconsin fishing opener this weekend.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482