Boat Wake Resources

Michigan HB5532 (this is the link for the state website to follow the current state of the legislation)
Michigan DNR Fisheries Division Report 37 (all relevant studies are included here)
2024 Annual MLSA Conference: Current Perspectives on Wake Boats by Dr. Joe Nohner, MDNR Fisheries Division
McNALMS Event: Current Perspectives on Wake Boats (recordings and presentations by MDNR and MBIA/WSIA)
St. Anthony FallsHealthy Waters Initiative
Wisconsin Wake Impact Video
200 Feet is Not Responsible Video
2024 Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Wake Boat Rule

DNR Boat Wake Report

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division put out a report about boat wake research and concerns. The basic recommendations of the report are as follows:

  1. Boats operating in wake-surfing mode or wake-boarding mode, during which boat speed, wave shapers, and/or ballast are used to increase wave height, are recommended to operate at least 500 feet from docks or the shoreline, regardless of water depth.
  2. Boats operating in wake-surfing or wake-boarding modes are recommended to operate in water at least 15 feet deep.
  3. Ballast tanks should be completely drained prior to transporting the watercraft over land.

The recommended increase in distance from shore as well as the increased depth for operation during wake sports are crucial to the protection of our waterways. Concerns about boat wake damage to lakes and streams as well as safety issues for humans and wildlife have been mounting around the country as wake boats have gained popularity. Michigan Lakes and Streams Association has been working with other organizations from coast to coast that are seeing these issues. Limiting damage to shoreline and fishery habitats, eliminating the scouring of the bottomlands, and reducing the spread of invasive species are critically important to the preservation of our lakes and streams for future generations. We hope that boaters, lake residents, and policy makers will join us in further action based on the recommendations of MDNR Fisheries Division Report 37.

MLSA looks forward to working with stakeholders as well as government and agency officials of all levels to help preserve and protect our lakes and streams with common sense regulations. We appreciate the initiative and care of the Michigan DNR Fisheries Division in putting out this official report.

Link to the full report: