MOUND, Minn. — Officials who monitor one of Minnesota's premiere lakes are doubling down on a reduced speed limit to protect small craft boaters and the shorelines of residents.
The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) voted to change a rule that requires those operating watercraft on Lake Minnetonka to maintain a speed of 5 miles per hour or less within 300 feet of shore starting in 2023. This is double the distance of the current 150 feet requirement.
LMCD says the new ordinance takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Boat speeds on the popular and heavily-used lake have been a matter of concern in recent years as large boat-generated wakes make it difficult and even dangerous for those in kayaks or canoes to use the lake. Property owners add that large wakes are a major contributor to shoreline erosion.
“Many community members have voiced concerns about large wakes on Lake Minnetonka. At the same time, we know people enjoy using many different types of boats, including wake surf boats and large cruisers,” said LMCD Board Chair Gregg Thomas in a released statement. “This rule change is one step that will help us protect the lake and make it safer for everyone.”
Speeds near docks, anchored boats, swimmers or scuba divers’ warning flags throughout the lake will remain limited to 5 mph within 150 feet.
In a news release, the LMCD said that a review process was conducted before the vote that included a public listening session, Q and A at a board meeting and connecting with member cities and boating industry leaders.
For more on the new speed limit and the full ordinance that was passed, check out the LMCD website.
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