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Wake Boat Use Rules Passed For Vermont's Inland Lakes

16 Feb 2024 1:00 PM | Jerremy Jones (Administrator)

Hello LSC.

We want to make you aware of a decision made on February 15th by the Vermont Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) to pass rules to regulate wake boat use on certain public waters.

In March of 2022, a citizens group, "Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes" submitted a petition to the DEC proposing regulation of wake boat use on Vermont's lakes and ponds. You can see that petition here.

Their concerns in the petition 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

Based on this petition, the Vermont DEC held numerous public meetings, and in January of 2024, filed a draft rule to LCAR.

The DEC’s rule would allow wake boats to engage in wake sports on public waters under the following three conditions:

  • On lakes, ponds, and reservoirs with a minimum of 50 contiguous acres that are 500 feet from shore on all sides and 20 feet deep (eligibility rule)
  • Wake boats must be 500 feet from shore at all times while engaging in wake sports (operating rule)
  • A wake boat must stay in one lake per calendar year unless boat is decontaminated by a DEC-approved entity (home lake rule)

Under this newly approved rule, wake boats can engage in wake sports on 30 inland lakes in Vermont, one of which is Lake St. Catherine.

This rule will be in effect for the 2024 boating season.

The DEC has provided preliminary maps for the 30 lake which show the wake sport zone, and you can see the LSC map here - also shown below.

The DEC will also be providing digital maps, via an app, that can be used on your phone to show your location on the lake using the phone's GPS - meaning cell service will not be needed to use the map and see your location on the lake.

Much more information will be forthcoming, but we wanted to make you aware of this new rule regulating wake boat use on Vermont lakes. The LSCA will be working over the spring and summer to educate boaters about this new regulation.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Lake St. Catherine Wake Sport Zone

Search lakestcatherine.org:

Lake St. Catherine Association
PO Box 631
Wells, VT 05774

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