Lake Minnetonka Conservation District considers new wake restrictions
MINNETONKA, Minn. (FOX 9) - After a long winter, there's nothing Minnesotans love more than getting out on the water.
But kayaker Sophana Sok says he's had quite a few fishing trips that have been ruined by big wakes.
"Sometimes, when they see us they expect us to move out of their way since they are bigger," Sok told FOX 9. "People tend to drive their boats whatever speed they want and for little boats like ours, kayaks or a canoe, it tips over quite easily."
The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District is now considering further regulations when it comes to boat-generated wakes to increase safety and reduce the consequences of shoreline erosion. The LMCD cares for and regulates Lake Minnetonka.
The new rules would be on top of existing ones that prohibit large boats from operating within 150 feet from the shore, swimmers, docks and other personal watercrafts.
Proponents of the stricter rules point to the University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls study which found wake surf boats require at least 500 feet of distance from shorelines and other boats to reduce their impact.
Jeremy Wahlberg of River Valley Power and Sport believes there are already enough rules in place - they just need to be enforced.
"If you don't enforce the rules, you can't complain that people are breaking them and expect to make tougher rules like now they are going to follow those. It makes absolutely zero sense," Wahlberg said.
He hopes the Lake Minnetonka community can come together and find solutions that work for everyone.
"We have to, as a community on the water, both the surf community, the wakeboarders the skiers, the fishers, everybody... we have to find a way to work together," said Wahlberg.
LMCD had a public hearing on wake restrictions earlier this week. They received dozens of comments from people and are compiling a list of potential new rules that should be ready by Monday.