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'Shoreline-distancing' begins on Lake Minnetonka

Last year the wake rule required boaters to stay 150 feet from shore – this year the distance doubles.

WAYZATA, Minn. — The new rule to try and calm the waters of Lake Minnetonka and property owners is now in effect.

Last year, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) voted to require all boats to maintain a speed of 5 miles per hour or less within 300 feet of shore, which doubles the old 150-foot distance rule.

The LMCD Board approved the updated rule last summer after "hosting a listening session, engaging community members and conducting research," according to a news release.

The ordinance went into effect technically at the start of the year but now that the ice has finally melted, the Hennepin County Water Patrol will begin to keep a watchful eye on what one might consider "shoreline distancing."

A number of property owners on Lake Minnetonka have been concerned in recent years that speeding boats, especially wake surf boats and large cruisers, can be major contributors to shoreline erosion.

"After soliciting input and hosting a public listening session, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District Board determined that our regulations did not reflect current trends in boating equipment and activities," said Ann Hoelscher, LMCD board chair, in the news release. "This rule will help ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone who visits Lake Minnetonka." 

The new ordinance does not change the current speed limit near docks, anchored boats, swimmers or scuba diver warning flags throughout the lake. That distance remains 150 feet. 

"There are a variety of activities that Lake Minnetonka offers. This new rule will help protect the lake and make it safer for everyone," Shane Magnuson, Major at the Hennepin County Sheriff Water Patrol Office, said in a statement.

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