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Officials urge boaters to familiarize themselves with the rules of the lakes this Memorial Day weekend

Members of the community hope a new rule will keep families safe on Lake Minnetonka.

You don't need a maritime family to predict what Lake Minnetonka will be like this weekend. 

"It's gonna be crazy," said Matt Johnson, a boater. 

Matt Cunningham hopes a new rule will keep his family safe.

"We can't take off as close to shore as we used to," said Cunningham. "But it's a lot of people using the lake, so that's fine with us."

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District requires all boats to maintain a speed of 5 miles per hour or less within 300 feet of shore, doubling the distance of the old rule.

"For the homeowners and that erosion on their shore, I think it's a good idea," said Cunningham. 

It took effect this year, but not everyone necessarily follows the rule.

"Sometimes rules, you know, get a little bent here and there," said Saul Calderon, who works for Blue Lagoon Marine as a storage manager.

Officials said they want to ensure you stay up-to-date with all the rules at your favorite lake. The DNR says it's emphasizing safety this weekend. 

"We want to make sure that boaters are checking through their safety equipment," said Mike Lerchen, a DNR conservation officer. "Making sure they have their life jackets on board, navigational lights, fire extinguishers, sound producing devices, and life jackets."

They say there will be a big presence this weekend to make sure everyone is following the rules. 

"A big thing that we also look for is alcohol," said Lerchen. "So alcohol and boating do not mix."

Derek Brown knows it can be tempting to speed up.

"I've been one of those guys that's moved faster than he should be moving closer to somebody's property," said Brown. "And I understand that."

But he's all for the added rules if it makes the water safer for everyone's family. 


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