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Central Minnesota county enacts no-wake watercraft rule after heavy rains

Water pooled in Karin Weigel's yard on Lake Burgen in Douglas County, Minn., after Sunday's rain. Forum News Service photo

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Fifteen of Douglas County named 122 lakes have temporary no wake zoning on them starting Tuesday, Aug. 15, for 30 days.

Watercraft can not create a wake within 300 feet of the shoreline after the Douglas County commissioners enacted the temporary special control because of unseasonably high rainfall.

The lakes affected by the temporary no wake zone include Ida,  Louise, Brophy, Cowdry, Darling, Carlos, L'Homme Dieu, Geneva, Victoria, Burgen, Vermont, Latoka, Chippewa, Little Chippewa and Devils.

The 300-foot no wake zones means that all watercraft operating within 300 feet of the shoreline should not exceed a speed that produce a wake or wave behind the craft, which is approximately only 5 miles per hour.

County Land and Resource Management director Dave Rush said the rise in water levels was very rapid after last weekend's rainfall on many area lakes.

"At these higher levels, water can and is doing substantial damage to shorelines and lake equipment," Rush said.

Rush said that although the wake restriction is limited to just 15 lakes, he encourages all boaters to slow down and use caution when operating near the shore of all lakes within the county while the water remains high.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers will be enforcing the no-wake restrictions.

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