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Dane County officials expand ‘Slow, No Wake’ order

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, County Executive Office (608) 267-8823
Elise Schaffer, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, (608) 284-6142
Scott McDonell, Dane County Board Chairman, (608) 266-4121
J. McLellan, Department of Emergency Management, (608) 267-8542


Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Due to the safety and damage risks associated with the near record depths on the four major Madison lakes, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney and Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell today expanded the current ‘Slow, No Wake’ order from the 500-foot shoreline limit to cover the entire surfaces on all four lakes.

“This is a tough decision because it affects the homes of our citizens living near the shorelines, and the businesses which rely upon our lakes for their livelihood,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said today. “We want to thank our businesses for their understanding – especially since this is a popular holiday weekend when people want to be on their boats. I also want to thank in advance our boaters for honoring this order.”

The expanded declaration means a boat may only move at a speed to maintain steering control but may not produce any wake. Violators may be subject to citation and a fine by the Dane County Sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Mahoney said his department has been patrolling the lakes and will continue to do that, making sure the order is enforced. “Boaters who violate this order will be ticketed,” Mahoney said.

McDonell said the potential for additional damage is real. “The lake levels are already high and causing problems for our shorelines and our lakefront property owners,” McDonell said. “That damage is intensified by the waves that come crashing from boats causing wakes.”

As of Wednesday morning, the total estimated flood damages to Dane County private property (homes and businesses) was $2.5 million. Yesterday, Dane County reached the minimum requirement for federal public assistance for governments to respond to flood-related damages. The Dane County damage estimate for the public sector reached $1.5 million as of Wednesday morning.

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