Background: Kootenai County has a two hundred foot no-wake speed limit on power boats and has for many years. The county instituted a three hundred foot excessive wake generation limit in May 2020. In addition the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol is working to increase its law enforcement presence on the lake. The Association has lobbied the county’s Board of County Commissioners, sheriff’s department and watershed Improvement District to take these necessary steps to better manage power water craft wakes on Hayden Lake. The Association has also launched a wake education program targeted at boaters using Hayden Lake. The Association would like to develop good data and information to assess whether these steps are sufficient to address damaging and dangerous wake issues or more advocacy is required.
Initiatives: The Hayden Lake Watershed Association is testing two strategies to develop information on damaging and dangerous wakes produced by boating on Hayden Lake. The Boat Wake Complaint Registry provided above provides a tool that those affected by dangerous and/or damaging wakes can use to provide the relevant information in a form the Association can use to assess the effectiveness of the existing limits. For these purposes the Association is interested in solid information as well documented as possible, not complaints unsupported by observed facts. Only with a catalog of well documented complaints can policy makers be educated to improve water craft wake management.