Wake Boats

Because of Lily Lake’s smaller size and shallow depth, logically our lake would not be ideal for wake boats based on the information listed below and would be better suited for larger inland lakes such as Houghton or Higgins Lake.

Wake surfing involves boats creating waves big enough for people to surf without the need of a tow rope.

Studies have found Wake Boats have a significant negative environmental impact on smaller inland lakes, because:

  • The larger wake they produce cause greater erosion on shorelines compared to other motorboats, and potentially significant damage to property, docks, docked boats or landscaped shorelines.
  • Propellers and large wakes can also disturb nesting birds along the shore, churn up sediment from the bottom of the lake, and continually disturb the bottom of shallow lakes which imperils natural aquatic plants, insects, fish, and microscopic life.
  • This turbulence can also churn up nutrients such as phosphorus that could increase algae growth.
  • Due to their larger wake, wake boats present significant safely hazards to other boaters, swimmers and even people resting or sitting on or in moored boats, swim rafts and docks. It is not uncommon for the wave from a wake boat to cause a person to fall down on or fall off of a dock or moored boat, or even break boat mooring lines.

The findings from these studies were taken from studies conducted in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, and performed on much larger bodies of water than Lily Lake.   As a result, you would have to assume the impact on our smaller lake would be magnified considerably.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recommends that Wake Boaters stay at least 150 feet from other vessels, swimming areas, anglers, etc.; and should stay in deeper water.  Due to the size of Lily Lake, it would not lend itself for Wake Boaters to be able to easily follow these recommendations.

Click here and here for PDF attachments of two of the studies where the information above is from, and additional sources of information can be found in the links below . . .



The battle over ‘wakesurfing’ has made its way to the Minnesota Legislature | MinnPost