Lake Minnetonka WEATHER

Top Winter Violations

Lake Minnetonka is a treasure all year long, but we still see some misuse in the colder months. 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 portable and non-portable ice shelters 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, the shore zone (within 150 feet of shore) is 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 the 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 any garbage, rubbish, or other litter on the ice. 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.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping the lake safe for everyone to enjoy all winter.