Lake Minnetonka Conservation District

Lake Safety


Top Winter Violations

The following are the most common winter-use violations observed by Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol. Be mindful of the rules and use common sense to have a safe and enjoyable time on Lake Minnetonka.

Ice Shelter and Vehicle Registration

All non-portable ice shelters, as well as any portable ice shelter left unattended, must be licensed through the Minnesota DNR. The ice shelter license must be readily visible from the shelter’s exterior. For more information, please see the MN DNR website.

All snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and off-road vehicles (ORVs) must be registered through the Minnesota DNR. Please see the MN DNR website for more information.

Shore Zone Violations

In general, uses of the shore zone (within 150 feet of shore) are limited to non-motorized activities, such as walking, snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing, and fishing. Motor vehicles may traverse the shore zone by the shortest direct route from shoreline to open ice beyond the shore zone, but are prohibited from operating at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour while in the shore zone.


It is unlawful for the operator of a motorized vehicle or any person to deposit on the ice of the Lake any garbage, rubbish, or other litter. Plan ahead to bring any waste or garbage with you when leaving.

Reflective Material on Ice Shelters

Ice shelters left out overnight must have at least 2 square inches of reflective material on each side.