On June 26, 2018, the level of East & West Lake Okoboji rose above 6.05 feet on the USGS Gauging Station. Per the Dickinson County Emergency Management Commission’s No-Wake Policy put into place on May 15, 2018, the 300-foot no-wake (5 mph) zone is hereby extended to 600-feet from shore on East & West Lake Okoboji, Upper and Lower Gar, and Minnewashta Lake.
At the request of Lake Park Mayor John Engel, the 600-foot no-wake rule will also apply to Silver Lake at Lake Park.
At the request of Spirit Lake Mayor Bruce Keenan, the 600-foot no-wake rule will also apply to Center Lake. (Silver Lake and Center Lake do not have water gages so action levels cannot be set for these two lakes.)
Significant lakeshore damage and potential impacts to critical public infrastructure is possible during high water periods. Boat wakes can cause damage to private and public property and boaters are asked to be mindful of their wake on all lakes.
At this time, lake levels on Big Spirit are just below the threshold set by the Commission and therefore the emergency 600-foot rule does not yet apply there. Emergency Management will continue to monitor the levels on Big Spirit and if the lake does surpass the level of 15.65’ on the gage, it will be implemented. Other lakes in the county will be monitored to determine additional steps.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is the enforcement agency for this emergency rule and will be placing signs at the public boat ramps. The 300 ft buoys will not be moved so boaters are asked to use these buoys as reference and double their distance from shore before increasing speed above 5 mph.
This emergency rule will remain in effect on East & West Okoboji, Upper & Lower Gar and Minnewashta lakes until the lake level drops below 6.05 feet and remains there for three days (72 consecutive hours). The rule will remain in effect for Silver and Center Lakes until further notice.
Questions may be directed to Emergency Management Commission Chair Bill Maas or Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Ehret.