By Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

On March 26, 2024, over 120 people participated in a Zoom briefing session to learn about how Vermont is taking action to limit wake sports. MLSA attended. The state officials leading the session noted that Vermont had just enacted the “most protective state-wide wake sports rule in the USA.”

Vermont’s rule limits any watercraft from operating in wake sport mode unless it is done in a clearly identified “wake sport zone.” The requirements for such a zone are: water depth of at least 20 feet deep, is a minimum of 50 acres in size, and at least 500 feet from any shoreline. Given those parameters, there are only 30 Vermont lakes that can now be used for wake sports. Lake Champlain is exempt from the new rule because it borders New York State and Canada.

The presenters did reference the many scientific studies about wake sport impact and the clear “… potential conflict between wake sports and other recreational uses.” They also explained the decontamination/disinfection requirements for wake sport boats if they travel away from their “home” lake.

Interested in the regulation of wakes and what is happening in Michigan? Join us at our Annual Conference on Friday morning for a discussion with Rep. Julie Rogers about HB 5532 that addresses concerns about damage from augmented boat wakes.

Southwest Michigan (Region 3) Meeting
Conference Session Preview: Harmful Algal Bloom