Wake surfing legislation and the potential for AIS and erosion

At the November 2023 MCLA membership meeting, representatives from Cedar Lake discussed the topic of wake surfing legislation.

As the popularity of the sport has increased, the boats used have increased in power in order to create bigger wakes for surfing.  There are potential ecological issues with the changing sport.

  • The ballast tanks can take in thousands of pounds of lake water to make bigger wake. Since the tanks are not able to fully drain, this could mean an increase the spread of aquatic invasive species, including spiny water flea and milfoil, when boats and their residual water are moved from lake to lake.
  • More powerful boats designed for wakeboarding create larger waves that have the potential to erode shorelines; propellers can damage shallow lake beds.

A recent bill to restrict the sport was not restrictive enough. Possibly restricting the equipment used and not the boat could be more effective on a local level.

Senator André Jacque of DePere has started a new bill from recommendations taken from the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. This new bill is more restrictive and all concerned should contact their representatives to back Senator Jacque’s bill.

In Manitowoc County, Long Lake has had a restrictive ordinance for 13 years and Crystal Lake has had one for 3 years. There are around 12 lakes in Wisconsin with local ordinances regarding wake surfing.

Further reading on the topic:

Wake surf legislation introduced in Wisconsin brings boat debate to a head

WXPR  Katie Thoresen
Published Nov 6, 2023

Sen. Jacque Looks to Update Wake Boat Lake Protection Standards

Seehafer News
Published Dec 2, 2023

Updated: December 3, 2023 — 10:39 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *