Lake Minnetonka was a busy place over the Fourth of July weekend, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and no official fireworks show, but it was "calmer" than last year, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said Monday in a tweet.
The sheriff's office said traffic to Orono's Big Island, the popular party spot on the lake, was down by about one-third and the "vast majority" of stops sheriff's deputies made were educational in nature.
From July 3-5, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office made 211 stops/contact/calls (down from 221 last year) and issued 51 citations (the same as 2019), 198 verbal warnings and three written warnings. There were also seven medicals, all to the hospital.
However, the number of BUIs (boating under the influence) was up this year with six reported (there were three last year), with the sheriff's office saying it "can't stress enough" how important it is to have a designated boat captain who isn't drinking.
Last year, there were five assaults and one large fight on a boat over the July 4 holiday.
Despite it being calmer on the lake this year, photos showed boats tied up together at the island and most people not wearing masks, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is a key tool in helping slow the spread of the coronavirus.