Slow/No Wake in effect on 2 area lakes

Due to extreme high water levels on Lake Independence the Slow No-wake ordinance now is in effect.

Slow no-wake requires that all watercraft must run at slow no-wake speed within 250 feet of shore, and this includes leaving directly to and from a dock. The ordinance involved is Independence city ordinance no. 2006-05. Below is what the ordinance says about Lake Independence.

"Section No. 915.19 Slow no-wake zone on Lake Independence. Subdivision 1. Slow no-wake at high water level. Whenever the waters of Lake Independence reach or exceed 957.8 feet above sea level for a period of three consecutive days or more, as measured by the water level gauge set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Lake Independence, the city administrator-clerk or designee may, at their discretion, upon notifying the Hennepin County Sheriff, establish a slow no-wake zone on those portions of the lake within Independence.

No person shall operate a watercraft, including aircraft except during landings and take-offs, in excess of slow no-wake speed within 250 feet of the shoreline when the high water slow no-wake restrictions are in effect. Both the implementation and removal of these restrictions must be done in coordination with action by the city of Medina.

Independence City Administrator Toni Hirsch explained, "Wave action at high water levels causes erosion of shoreline which releases nutrient rich water quality degrading sediments that cloud the water near shore and cause increased algae blooms. Shoreline habitat is also damaged."

She continued, "Nothing can be done to prevent damage from natural wave action, so it is very important to control what we can, which is the watercraft wake."

The slow no wake ordinance was in effect briefly for Lake Sarah. As of Monday, June 4, water levels in Lake Sarah had dropped low enough for the ordinance to be lifted.

Additional significant rainfall could change the slow no wake situation on Lake Sarah. Also, dry weather could result in the lifting of the slow no wake ordinance in Lake Independence. For the most current water level readings, go to the Lake Independence Citizens Association website at lakeindependence.org, or for Lake Sarah, lakesarah.com.

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