By Paul J. Sniadecki, Board Director

A state House bill dealing with public access times for inland lakes has caused an uproar among Michigan boaters and anglers.

House Bill 4362 as currently written states public boating access to inland lakes would be “limited to between the hours of 8 a.m. and sunset” for all vessels. The legislation is sponsored by Reps. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, and David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids.

Representative Sheppard said his intent with the bill was to expand public access to inland lakes where local hours are currently in place, citing an example of Tee Lake in Lewiston, Mich., where high-speed boating, water skiing and other activities that cause wakes are limited to between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. He said he was concerned that some Michigan inland lakes’ hours are out-of-date and should be updated.

The proposed bill has caused major concerns from groups and riparians from around the state.  That has forced Sheppard to reconsider his bill. Sheppard said he’s working on fixing the language in his bill to spell out exactly what he wants to accomplish, adding that he isn’t trying to restrict public access to inland lakes.

MLSA will continue to monitor this proposed bill to ensure Riparian Rights are protected.  Future newsletters will provide updates.

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