Updated: 07/26/2014 8:20 AM
Created: 07/23/2014 8:13 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart
Most of the no-wake restrictions for Lake Minnetonka have been lifted as of Friday morning, but there are still limitations for boaters.
The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District is allowing wakes for boats that are at least 600 feet from shore. Smaller bays are still under full wake restrictions. Boaters are excited.
"We haven't been able to come out as often as normal," said Dale Rieppel. "Usually we come out a couple times a week. Now we come out once every other week."
The no-wake restrictions had been in place since the beginning of June. Water levels needed to fall below 930.30 feet above sea level for three consecutive days, in order for the restrictions to be lifted. The lake level was at 930.25 feet Wednesday and 930.22 feet above sea level on Thursday.
“Starting Friday, you can resume boating and personal watercraft activities that require higher speeds on Lake Minnetonka as long as you stay away from the shore. I know everyone will be excited to tube, wake-board and use personal watercraft on the lake now that water levels have dropped,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “We are expecting these new guidelines to greatly increase the amount of boat traffic on Lake Minnetonka, and we are urging everyone to remain courteous and alert.”
Businesses are happy about the news as well. Ken Pittel owns Bay Rentals in Mound. He says the restrictions have forced people not to rent his jet skis or take them to another lake.
"I'm glad that it's open. It's going to make life a lot easier, and hopefully we'll have a hot August and hope it lasts into September, because we have a lot of catching up to do," Pittel said.
5 EYEWITNESS News reporter, Kate Renner spoke with Maynard's GM, Jack Stevens, about the positive effects of the no wake restriction being lifted for the restaurant.
"We like having the boats, it's part of the atmosphere, it's part of lake front dining, it makes it a destination for us," Stevens said.
Boaters are urged to be aware of all “Quiet Water Areas,” including channels and designated bays, docks and piers, swimming areas and anchored rafts or watercraft.