Starting next year, boaters on Lake Minnetonka will need to heed to a new speed limit rule.
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, all boats will be required to maintain a speed of five miles per hour or less if they are within 300 feet from the shore.
The rule as it stands now is 150 feet from shore, though the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) board said a 300-foot rule was already in place for jet skis and other smaller vessels.
According to LMCD, the purpose of the rule change is to limit "large, boat-generated wakes near the shore." The wakes make it difficult for people with smaller vessels, such as kayaks and and canoes, to use the lake. In addition, wakes that are close to shorelines contribute to shoreline erosion.
The rule change was voted on by the LCMD board on Aug. 10, according to a release.
“Many community members have voiced concerns about large wakes on Lake Minnetonka. At the same time, we know people enjoy using many different types of boats, including wake surf boats and large cruisers,” said LMCD Board Chair Gregg Thomas. “This rule change is one step that will help us protect the lake and make it safer for everyone.”
The new rule isn't expected to change the current speed limit near docks, anchored boats, swimmers or scuba divers' warning flags throughout the lake.
For more details on the rule change, click here.
The following is what the current buffer distance on the lake looks like, and what it will look like starting next year.