Please note that both Gilkey Lake and Bass Lake are No Wake Lakes.
Many cottage owners off and on the lakes will have guests visit them during the summer months. The Board talked about having some of the regulations for the lakes available to your guests. The Board would like you to post these for your guests, so we can have a safe and fun summer on the lakes. Thank you.
REQUIREMENTS FOR TOWING SKIIERS
A person may not be towed behind a vessel between sunset and sunrise. When a vessel is towing a person on water skis, a surfboard, or other device, the operator must have another competent person on board to act as an observer.
A PWC operator may not tow a person on water skis or other devices unless:
- The PWC is designed and recommended by the manufacturer to accommodate at least three people, and ...
- A competent observer is on board and in a position to observe the person being towed.
Those towing skiers on water skis, a surfboard, or similar devices and those being towed must act in a safe and prudent manner. Vessels towing persons may not come within 100 feet of any occupied anchored boat, any PWC, or any marked swimming area or public boat landing. Persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or other device, or their towing rope, may not come within 100 feet of a PWC.
Operating a boat with a person riding, on the bow, the deck, or gunwale is allowing the operator or passengers to ride or sit on the gunwales, top of seat backs or sides, or on the decking over the bow while underway.
Improper speed or distance is not maintaining a proper speed and/or distance while operating a vessel. Specifically, it is illegal to:
- Operate a vessel at a distance from other vessels or at a speed that exceeds safe and reasonable limits given the waterway traffic, marked speed limits, weather, and other boating conditions.
- Exceed the speeds posted or charted in any specific zone or area.
- Operate a vessel repeatedly in a circuitous manner within 200 feet of another vessel or person in the water.
- Operate a vessel within 100 feet of the shoreline, any dock, raft, pier, or restricted area on any lake or greater than “slow, no wake speed.”
- Operate a vessel at greater than “slow, no wake speed” on lakes that are 50 acres or less (this includes Bass and Gilkey Lakes) and have public access, unless such lakes serve as a thoroughfares between two or more navigable lakes. Lake size is determined in the most current version of “Wisconsin, PUB-FH-800, at http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/lakebook/wilakes2009bma.pdf.
- Operate a vessel at greater than “slow, no wake speed” within 100 feet of a swimmer, unless the vessel is assisting the swimmer.
- Operate a motorboat, other than a PWC, at a speed in excess of “slow, no wake speed” within 100 feet of the shoreline of any lake.
- Operate a vessel faster than “slow, no wake speed” within 100 feet of a patrol boat displaying emergency lights.
WHO MAY OPERATE / AGE RESTRICTIONS
Motorboats (Other than a Personal Watercraft)
- A person under the age of 10 may not operate a motorboat.
- A person 10 or 11 years old may operate a motorboat only if accompanied by a parent, a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian.
- A person 12-15 years old may operate a motorboat only if:
- He/she is accompanied by a parent, or guardian, or a person at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian or ...
- He/she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the WI DNR.
- A person at least 16 years old may operate a motorboat only if he/she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the WI DNR. A person born before January 1, 1989, is exempt from the safety course requirements.
Personal Watercraft (PWC)
- A person under the age of 12 may not operate a PWC.
- A person 12-15 years old may operate a PWC only if he/she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the WI DNR. (Parental supervision is not a substitute for a boating safety course certificate as with other motorboats.)
- A person at least 16 years old may operate a PWC only if he/she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the WI DNR. A person born before January 1, 1989, is exempt from the safety course requirement.
- A person under the age of 16 may not rent or lease a PWC.
Requirements Specific to Personal Watercraft
- PWC operators must obey the laws that apply to other vessels as well as obey additional requirements that apply specifically to the operation of the personal watercraft. Particular attention must be paid to the PWC’s capacity plate to determine the appropriate number of people allowed on the PWC.
- Every person on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard--approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.
- An operator of a PWC equipped with a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch must attach the lanyard to his/her person, clothing or PFD.
- A PWC may not be operated between sunset and sunrise.
- A PWC operator must always face forward.
- A PWC may not be operated at faster than “slow, no wake speed” within:
- 100 feet of any other vessel on any waterbody
- 200 feet of shore on any lake
- 100 feet of a dock, pier, raft, or restricted area on any lake
There are minimum age and boater education requirements for operators of PWC. A PWC must be operated in a responsible manner. Maneuvers that endanger people or property are prohibited, including:
- Jumping a wake with a PWC within 100 feet of another vessel.
- Operating within 100 feet of a vessel that is towing a person on water skis, inner tube, wakeboard, or similar device, or operating within 100 feet of the tow rope or person being towed.
- Weaving a PWC through congested waterway traffic.
- Steering toward another object or person in the water and swerving at the last possible moment in order to avoid a collision.
- Chasing, harassing, or disturbing wildlife with a PWC.
Specifically for Skiing
Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device have additional laws, including:
- “Slow, No Wake Speed” means a speed which a vessel moves as slowly as possible while still maintaining steerage control.