By Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director
We have received some inquiries about this new public act that has emerged from HB 5401, 5402, and 5463. We reported through the spring about the discussion and ultimate signing of these bills to help lakes working with their local municipalities to enact no wake requirements in response to high water events. We have now learned of a few lakes that were able to act on this new Public Act 72 (Temporary Local Watercraft Control).
Pigeon Lake in Ottawa County will be slow no wake until December 18, you can take a look at the mlive article.
Lake Macatawa located in Holland, Ottawa County was able to designate certain areas of the lake as slow, no wake, you can read more about their situation in this Holland Sentinel article.
Lower Herring Lake in Benzie County put a 6 month no wake restriction in place starting July 2nd and David Long was able to give me some information on their process. Dave said, “The PA 72 requires a public hearing and a resolution. We applied for the temporary no wake on June 6, 2020. We finally got through the entire process, passed an ordinance and the 6 month goes into effect on July 2…” Dave had some tips for lakes that plan to pursue an ordinance:
Make sure the paperwork is complete because the DNR has 10 days to approve it but mistakes can cause an additional 10 day approval period.
Lower Herring Lake was able to use a 14 day temporary no wake designation through the county emergency manager and sheriff that can be renewed for another 14 days, they used this while waiting for the DNR decision.
He generously shared some documents that other lakes might find useful if they are planning to start this process to protect their shorelines and property in times of high water.
Finally, Dave mentioned that he was in contact with Representative Jack O’Malley who originally co-sponsored the bill that brought us PA 72. Representative O’Malley may have plans to introduce another bill that will allow PA 72 to be renewed to extend no wake ordinances if our problems with high water continue.
Thank you to David Long and Lower Herring Lake for sharing this experience with us. MLSA will continue to keep you informed as our issues with high water persist.