By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
This article is an update on MLSA’s continuing efforts to follow the science relative to the impact watercraft could have when operating in wake boat mode in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams. Previous coverage on this topic can be found, right here, in the MLSA NEWS page on our website.
This past month MLSA provided readers access to the newly released University of Minnesota study relative to the wake generated by recreational watercraft. Back in 2020, the MLSA Board voted to provide significant funding to help launch this important research. The new study found that when operating under typical wakesurfing conditions (in wake boat mode) wakesurf boats required distances greater than 500 feet to attenuate wake wave characteristics to levels equivalent to non-wakesurf boats operating under typical conditions. The findings are important and show alignment with other studies. The study also validates the many concerns riparians have. In fact, groups in New Hampshire have presented the study to that state’s legislature for rule change.
MLSA continues to gather information about:
- How far from shore should wake boat mode activity occur?
- In what depth of water is it ok to operate in wake boat mode?
- How much acreage on the water is needed to create a wake boat mode operating area?
- What special aquatic invasive species (AIS) control methods might be required for wake boats being transported between water bodies?
Rest assured MLSA will continue to follow the science to determine, with certainty, what impacts watercraft operating in wake boat mode can possibly have. That effort can then lead to possible policy/rules recommendations to our state agencies and legislature. We are hoping 2022 is the year for data and analysis so next steps can be taken, based on science!