Community members have voiced concerns about the wakes created by watercrafts, such as wake surf boats and large cruisers. These large wakes make it difficult for people in small watercrafts, including kayaks and canoes, to use the lake safely. Wakes close to shorelines also damage Lake Minnetonka’s environment and contribute to shoreline erosion. However, others believe watercrafts like wake surf boats are a great recreational outlet and have a right to be on the lake.
After receiving these comments, the LMCD decided to launch a thorough review process to better understand community members’ input, ideas, and concerns. We hosted a listening session, solicited public comments, gathered data, reviewed research, and connected with member cities and boating industry leaders. Summaries of this process and what we learned are included below. You can also view our process outline for more details.
After listening to the community and conducting research, one step the Board took was to update a current rule. Over time, we have seen a change in the types and sizes of watercraft, in addition to the variety of competing uses on Lake Minnetonka.
The Board voted on a new rule regarding watercraft speeds near the shoreline in August 2022. This rule will go into effect starting on January 1, 2023. To learn more about this rule change, visit our Safety & Boat-Generated Wakes page.
LISTENING SESSION & PUBLIC COMMENTS (June 8, 2022)
The LMCD hosted a listening session on June 8, 2022 to hear public comments regarding the wake rules. The following information and materials were provided at or as part of public comments to a certain date. This listening session is the first step in the LMCD’s review of wake rules. Information will be added subsequently throughout the process.
WORK SESSION & PUBLIC COMMENTS REVIEW (July 13, 2022)
The LMCD held a review session on Wednesday July 13, 2022 to discuss public comments that were received by the LMCD and CSLM regarding boat generated wakes and wake rules. The following video was taken during the work session of the LMCD Board Meeting as a convenience for the public to view and stay informed on our decision making process.
07/13/2022 Work Session Video
Association Presentations & Comments (As presented)
- Citizens for Sharing Lake Minnetonka (CSLM)
- Minnesota Boating Industry
- Midwest Wakesurf Association- View Shown Video on Listening Session Meeting Video
- Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates Letter
REVIEW SESSION OF NEW WATERCRAFT SPEED LIMIT ORDINANCE OPTIONS (August 10, 2022)
The LMCD will be holding a review session on Wednesday August 10, 2022 to discuss two options for a new watercraft speed limit ordinance.
- Option 1: proposes to extend the distance of the current code requiring all watercraft to travel at five miles per hour within 150 feet of shoreline, bathing area, swimmer, scuba diver warning flag, anchored rafts or watercrafts, docks, piers, and designated no wake zones to within 300 feet.
- Option 2: proposes a 300 foot distance from shoreline but would keep a 150 distance from bathing areas, swimmers, scuba diver warning flags, anchored raft or watercraft, docks, piers, and designated no wake zones.
Additionally, the LMCD has created three maps for illustrative purposes only to show the existing distance buffers already established in the code and the proposed distances buffers if either ordinance option is implemented.
- Existing Regulations 150 Shore Structure People and 300 PWC Map
- Option 1 300 Shore Structure People Map
- Option 2 300 Shore 150 Structure People Map
Public Comments Throughout Review Process
Public Comments Submitted through 06/08/2022
Public Comments Submitted after 06/08/2022 through 06/23/2022
Public Comments Submitted after 06/24/2022 through 08/10/2022
Public Comments Submitted after 08/10/2022 through 08/16/2022
The LMCD is also accepting written comments. Written comments should be sent to the LMCD Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at LMCD, 5341 Maywood Rd, Suite 200, Mound, MN 55364.
Stay informed about this review process by signing up for email notifications regarding this topic and other Lake Minnetonka activities by emailing email@example.com or calling the LMCD office at 952-745-0789.
The following maps were created by the LMCD for illustrative purposes only to show distances from shoreline. They were not created to illustrate what the LMCD intends to implement into an ordinance for boat generated wakes. Rather, they are to serve as a reference for interested parties to review prior to the listening session.
- 2022 Lake Minnetonka With Existing Regulations150 300 600 ft Buffers Map
- Lake Minnetonka Bathymetric Map
- Lake Minnetonka Approximate Bay Acreage and Surface Area
The following articles and information has been submitted to the LMCD from various parties in relation to the boat generated wakes topics. These documents are from external sources; the contents are not produced, verified, or property of the LMCD.
- U of M St. Anthony Falls Boat Generated Wake Study Report (A Field Study of Maximum Wave Height, Total Wave Energy, and Maximum Wave Power Produced by Four Recreation Boats on a Freshwater Lake)
- U of M St. Anthony Falls FAQs for the Boat Generated Wake Report
- Uof M Presentation Regarding Report (Main presentation begins at 8:43 minutes and ends 52.55 minutes)
- 2022 Numerical Study of the Impacts of Wakesurfing on Inland Bodies of Water
- STAC Chesapeake Bay Boat Wake Study
- WSIA Wake Sport Wakes and their Potential Impacts on Shorelines
- WSIA Boat Testing Analysis and Comparison
- Sierra Club Wake Boats in the Land of 10,000 Lakes
- Association du Lac Mercier Impact of Wake Boat Waves
Minnesota State Info
- MI DNR Wake boats: concerns and recommendations related to natural resource management in Michigan waters (Sept 2022)
- Wakeboarding Impact in Michigan
- Impacts of Motorized Watercraft in New Hampshire Lakes and Ponds
- 2021 NHDES Wake Boats, AIS, and Water Quality Presentation
- WI NLMG Water Quality and Wave Study Phase 1 2020
- WI NLMG Water Quality and Wave Propagation Study Phase 2 2021 (WI DNR reference)
- Town of Hayward, WI Motorboat Regulations
- Report on Wake Issues
- Wakeboard Boat Operation
- Oregon Bans Wakesurfing on 29 mile stretch of Willamette River
- Impacts of Motor Boats on Water Quality in Shallow Lakes (Manitoba)
- Impacts of Wake Boat Waves on Shorelines (Ontario)
- Wake Boat Factsheet (Ontario)
- Wisconsin Residual Water in Recreational Watercraft Ballast System Study
- Aquatic Invasive Species in New Hampshire Presentation
- 2020 Economic Value of Recreational Boating and Future Trends Presentation
- 2019 U of M Wake Boats and Zebra Mussels Thesis
- 2019 U of M Wake Boat and Zebra Mussel Article
- HB 137 Boat Ballast Systems Presentation
- Wave Energy and Wave Changes with Depth