North Hudson boat launch closes to traffic, frustration follows

Updated: July 04, 2019 10:22 PM

The Fourth of July is one of the biggest boating holidays of the year. People living in western Wisconsin, however, say they can’t get their boats in the water.

The road to Ferry Landing Beach was closed to traffic on Wednesday. The gate will remain closed and locked until Monday.


“Totally changed my plans for the weekend,” said Scott DeStasio, who has lived in North Hudson for 20 years.

He was one of many frustrated people who had to turn around on July 4.

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“As taxpayers, we deserve to know why this got closed down and why we cannot use this launch anymore,” said DeStasio.

According to a memo posted to the village’s website, the road will be closed every weekend for now, from Fridays through Sundays.

“It’s a safety concern and a staffing concern,” said Stan Wekkin, the Village Board of Trustees President.

Wekkin said people living near the launch have complained.

“It’s really not crime issues, it's ordinance violations,” he said.

Wekkin told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS people are bringing banned gas containers down to the water, boats and jet skis are getting too close to swimmers and parking has become an issue.

He said there have also been confrontations between people who live nearby and beach-goers.

“We’ve tried a lot of different things but so far nothing has worked,” said Wekkin, about their search for a solution.

The village is working to hire another police officer to help with patrols, he said.

“To take this away from the working class fisherman doesn’t seem fair on any level,” said Josh Stevenson, who works as a fishing guide.

He told us it’s the only free launch in the area.

“In my experience guiding down here, 10 years, this has been one of the quietest, nicest launches around,” said Stevenson.

It also supports local businesses.

“Clients who are out of town- they’re supporting local restaurants here, they’re going to the gas station, Kozy Korner to Mama Marie’s,” said Stevenson.

“A few bad apples shouldn’t ruin it for the rest of us that are actually law abiding citizens.”

For now, Wekkin said it will remain closed.

“Until we get a solution to the problem,” said Wekkin. “We will be meeting next week.”

He’s asking residents for suggestions to fix the problems.

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Callan Gray

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