The Vermont DEC has scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM to discuss proposed draft wakeboat rules.
In March of 2022, a citizens group, "Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes" submitted a petition to the DEC proposing regulation of wakeboat use on Vermont's lakes and ponds. You can see that petition here.
Their concerns included:
- Increased shoreline erosion from enhanced wakes
- Disturbance to lake bottom sediments creating turbidity, disrupting plants & fish habitat, & releasing phosphorus & other nutrients which can create algae blooms and reduce clarity
- Wakeboats can shred & uproot plants spreading aquatic invasive species
- Wakeboats can spread invasive species when moved between lakes
- Wakeboats create safety concerns, can damage docks and shoreland infrastructure
At the meeting, the DEC will summarize their review of the scientific studies, legal precedent, and operational considerations related to wakeboat use on the following subjects:
- Minimum distance from shore to reduce or limit shoreline erosion
- Minimum depth to avoid benthic sediment and phosphorus disturbance
- Potential risk of Aquatic Invasive Species spread from ballast tanks
- Impact of wakeboat waves on loon nests
- Minimum number of contiguous acres required for safe use
- Review of regulation in other states and past UPW Rules Decisions
They will also outline and discuss the proposed draft rule:
Under this rule, on lakes or ponds that meet the eligibility criteria (Lake St. Catherine being one), the DEC will create a wake sports zone map that will show the area on the lake where use is permitted. Using this rule concept, 31 Vermont lakes are eligible for wake sports use (in their designated area).