Wake Boats

Potential Regulation of Wake Boats – September 2022

The link below will take you to H. 503, legislation introduced in the Vermont House of Representatives in the 2022 legislative session to regulate wake boats. The legislature did not take action on this bill, however, it is expected that it will be reintroduced in 2023.

Click here to see H. 503 as drafted

On March 9,2022, the VT Department of Environmental Conservation published a petition submitted by a citizens group known as Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes asking for consideration to manage wake boats and their activities in lakes and ponds. The petition calls for wake boats for wakeboarding and wake surfing to be permitted only in areas where the distance from shore is greater than 1,000 feet, the water depth is greater than 20 feet, and the area of the water body is more than 60 contiguous acres. SLA did not take a formal position or sign the petition.

The petition was published for public comment and two public hearings were held. One in Richmond on June 29 and another in Manchester on July 7th. Copies of the petition and notes from the public hearings are at the following link (the petition is about halfway down the page when displayed):
https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/rulemaking

At the public hearings the state advised that should the petition be implemented as presented, only 15 lakes (including Seymour) would be large enough to meet the limitations proposed in the petition. This raised concerns to us that this would greatly increase the traffic of wake boats to Seymour. As it is impossible to remove all the water from the ballasts of wake boats, this would also greatly increase the likelihood that the boats could transport invasive species such as Eurasian Milfoil and Zebra Mussels to our lake. As a result, SLA submitted formal comments to the state expressing our concerns. Several of the other 15 lakes have also expressed similar concerns and are working together to request a meeting with the state to offer alternatives to the petition’s proposed restrictions. SLA is participating in this process.

Potential Regulation of Wake Boats – June 2022

The link below will take you to H. 503, legislation introduced in the Vermont House of Representatives in the 2022 legislative session to regulate wake boats. The legislature did not take action on this bill, however, it is expected that it will be reintroduced in 2023.

Click here to see H. 503 as drafted

On March 9,2022, the VT Department of Environmental Conservation published a petition submitted by a citizens group known as Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes asking for consideration to manage wake boats and their activities in lakes and ponds. The petition calls for wake boats for wakeboarding and wakesurfng to be permitted only in areas where the distance from shore is greater than 1,000 feet, the water depth is greater than 20 feet, and the area of the water body is more than 60 contiguous acres. The petition has been published for public comment (comments must be submitted by 4:00 pm on Friday, July 29, 2022). Two public hearings have also been scheduled. One in Richmond on June 29 and another in Manchester on July 7th. Both hearings may also be attended virtually via Microsoft Teams. Copies of the petition and details for the public hearings are at the following link (the petition is about halfway down the page when displayed):
https://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/lakes-ponds/rulemaking

A successful petition brought to the state years ago resulted in making the use of jet skis or personal watercraft no longer allowed on lakes smaller than 300 acres.

SLA did not take a position on the proposed legislation or sign the petition. We do know that there are people on Seymour who enjoy wake boats. We also know there are concerns about the possibility of invasive species from other lakes being transported in the ballast of wake boats to our lake, and also concerns that the wake from these boats might be harmful to our shoreline. At this time our goal is to keep our members informed on this issue.