UPDATE: High water levels lead to slow/no-wake restrictions on St. Croix River, Crystal Lake

May 25, 2019 03:52 PM

UPDATE 5/25: The no-wake restrictions have been lifted from Crystal Lake as of May 25.


Boaters gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend expect it to be slow going on some rivers and lakes in the Twin Cities metro during the unofficial kickoff to summer.

The City of Burnsville announced slow/no-wake restrictions on Crystal Lake on Thursday, the same day as the Washington County Sheriff's Office issued the same restrictions for the St. Croix River.

Both are due to high water levels caused by recent rainfall. 

Slow/no-wake means watercraft must be operated at the slowest possible speed necessary to maintain steerage, and in no case should be going faster than five miles per hour.

KSTP flooding coverage

Marinas along the St. Croix continue to deal with high water levels and flooding that are impacting access to boats.

In Hudson, dock access at the St. Croix Marina is completely cut off in spots. Downstream at Afton Marina and Yacht Club, general manager Glenn Bowman said they are watching the forecast closely.

“The water (is) expected to come up another half-a-foot and that's without any predicted rain going into next week,” Bowman said.

The slow/no-wake restrictions on the St. Croix extend from Taylors Falls to the Mississippi River in Prescott, Wisconsin. 

The no-wake zone protects boaters from flood-related hazards such as floating debris and river currents, according to the sheriff's office.

It also assists in minimizing damage to shorelines, levees and islands - which are more vulnerable to damage from wakes during high water events.

Tom and Pam Ott spent Thursday afternoon preparing their boat for the weekend.

“I think we're probably just going to anchor out a lot on the river with our friends,” Pam Ott said, noting the beach they typically go to is underwater.

“We're just going to take the weather as it comes,” she said.

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