The Fisheries Division of the Michigan DNR released a literature review and recommendations regarding the effects of wake boats on aquatic habitat. An earlier version sparked controversy and it was relabeled as a draft. This July, the final report was released.
Recommendations in the report were couched as “voluntary best operating practices in support of the continued use of wake boats while minimizing the effects on natural resources. Their recommendations are copied below:
- Boats operating in wake-surfing mode or wake-boarding mode, during which boat speed, wave shapers, and/or ballast are used to increase wave height, are recommended to operate at least 500 feet from docks or the shoreline, regardless of water depth.
- Boats operating in wake-surfing or wake-boarding modes are recommended to operate in water at least 15 feet deep.
- Ballast tanks should be completely drained prior to transporting the watercraft over land.
Further, the Michigan report “recommended that awareness and voluntary adoption of these best operating practices be encouraged through outreach actions and materials to educate wake boat operators.”