Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Dane County Board Chair Kevin Kesterson, and Dane County Sheriff Gary Hamblin have declared an emergency “slow no wake zone” for Squaw Bay area, including Belle Isle, on Lake Monona. The no wake zone extends from the Winnequah Boat Landing south to the opposite shore, and slow no wake buoys will be installed to clearly mark the area. The order will remain in effect until it is no longer deemed necessary for safety reasons.
“Staff is closely monitoring the rising water levels in Dane County lakes and navigable waterways,” said Falk. “At this point, we are putting the slow no wake order in effect for Squaw Bay only, but will extend it to other lakes and waterways if conditions merit. We ask that boaters operate with caution and care on any of our lakes and rivers.”
Slow no wake speed means that a boat moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control. All boaters must operate their boats in such a manner that a wake is not produced within the zone. Violators may be subject to citation and fine by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.
People who wish to report violations of the slow no wake order should call Sheriff’s dispatch at 255-2345.
Lake high water levels can cause shoreline damage, which is intensified by waves made by boats creating wakes. Also, the storms of the last few days have left submerged debris in the lakes which boaters may hit, causing damage to boats and injury to the occupants.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office urges shoreline residents on all Dane County lakes to secure their pier sections extending into the lake, as winds and waves may cause sections to break off and become hazardous debris in the lakes. Boaters are also reminded to tie boats down that are on lifts, as rising waters can cause the boats to float off the lift.
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