DNR to give temporary flexibility to enact slow no-wake zones

(Released June 19, 2014)

Due to recent heavy rains and high water across the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is giving counties, cities and townships more authority to enact ordinances to address high water in their area.

Municipalities may enact an up to 30-day emergency slow no-wake restriction on a lake or river.

“No-wake zones protect property from erosion and wake action and keep the public safe on the water,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist.

Prior to this order, local units of government could only enact an emergency five-day water restriction.

People need to be especially cautious right now around high water; making sure they wear life jackets and are aware of local flooding conditions.

For the emergency restrictions to take effect, cities, counties and townships must follow a series of steps:

  • The body of water must reach a level where property damage is expected.
  • The municipality may set slow no-wake area at 150, 300 or 600 feet from shore or the entire body of water.
  • If a body of water is located in more than one municipality, all government units must approve identical restrictions, unless the impacted area is within one municipality.
  • The DNR must be notified about the restrictions.
  • Citizens must also be notified about the ordinance through their website, news releases and signs posted at public accesses.
  • Slow no-wake will be lifted once water body has fallen to a lower level set by the municipality for three consecutive days.

Find more information about local water use restrictions online.