Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Slow no-wake boating restriction in effect on St. Croix River

Water levels on the St. Croix River have risen to the point where any early boaters venturing onto it will be required to slow down to minimize shoreline damages.

Boaters on the St. Croix between Taylors Falls and Prescott must operate at slow no-wake speeds when the river’s level reaches 683 feet above sea level at Stillwater. The special restriction, authorized by state rules in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, is aimed at reducing shoreline erosion and resulting property damage in areas not usually susceptible to wave action at lower water levels. Officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota and the National Park Service will post signs regarding the slow no-wake requirement at all public accesses, and marina operators have been notified.

The slow no-wake rule will remain in effect until the water level again recedes below the 683-foot level. The river is predicted to remain above 683 for about a week. Boaters can consult the National Weather Service website for the latest updates on current and projected water levels.

Boat and water safety officials at the DNR also point out that high-running rivers often contain debris floating just below the surface that can present significant hazards. Boaters should slow down and exercise extra caution in such conditions. Water temperatures at this time of year also pose serious risk of hypothermia.

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