DRAFT---------- Wakeboats and Rock Lake ------DRAFT

Wake boats create high standing waves designed to allow someone to surf, hands free, behind the boat.
For the safety and enjoyment of others, the health of Rock Lake, and for its aquatic inhabitants, there are a few issues you should be aware of.

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The strong downward thrust of energy needed to create the wave scours the lake bottom, churning up phosphorus, an algae-feeding nutrient. A cut up bottom also destroys the habitat needed for fish. The trail of suspended sedi-
ment left behind you is a very bad sign.

The ballast tanks can’t be fully emptied, these tanks act as transportation systems for invasive species.
A good example is the spiny water
flea which can survive a year in

your ballast tank. When the inva-
sive spiny water flea populations

took off in Lake Mendota, they
lost 3 feet in water clarity! Why?
Spiny water fleas disrupt the food
web by preying upon zooplankton.
Zooplankton feeds on algae and is
also an important food source for
juvenile native fish. Unfortunately,
few juvenile fish can feed on spiny
water flea. The flea also reproduces

asexually so populations can ex-
plode. Spiny water fleas are in ALL

the Madison chain of lakes, Lake
Winnebago, and Lake Michigan.
Once they are introduced to our
lake, there is no way to control
them.

The bow up stance can make
it difficult to see other boats. The
enhanced waves can swamp
boats, kayaks, and Standup Paddle
Boards, disturb fishing boats, and
endanger swimmers.

The Wake Sport Zone is about 230
acres. Wake boats typically have

depth finders as part of their elec-
tronics package which can greatly

assist you in guiding your course.
(You could also take this map and
use it to help orient you on the lake.)

Graphic—- wake surfing wake boarding and water sking graphic compared

Wake Enhanced Technology: An Introduction

Wake enhanced technology is either a boat or third party after-market device that seeks to create large
wakes for recreation. Concerns on this technology focus on four areas:
o Impact on other lake users while the technology is being utilized
o Damage to shorelands
o Damage to lake bottoms and lake ecology
o Transport of invasive species
Here is a video which outlines the last two concerns:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OEHn0Htj8A

What are Wake Boats?

Wake boats, also known as wakeboarding boats or bladder boats, have surged in
popularity in recent years. Equipped with ballast systems and specially designed
hulls, these boats are capable of producing powerful waves ideal for wakeboarding
and wake surfing. As interest in these water sports has grown, so has the demand
for wake boats, leading to a growing segment of the boat-building industry.

Why are we interested in discussing this issue?

A lobbyist was recently hired by the wake enhancement industry to influence the State of Wisconsin
legislature. A new bill (AB 656) is being introduced in the state legislature which will set a state standard
for wake-enhancing powerboats to operate 200’ from shore, and 100’ from any occupied anchored
boat, personal watercraft, marked swimming area, or public boat landing, with no ability for more
restrictive local ordinances. There is no minimum water-depth requirement. A proposal to prevent
these boats from operating on lakes under 50 acres is moot, since those lakes in Wisconsin prohibit all
motors.
Below is Wisconsin Lake’s recommendation on this upcoming legislation.  As a reminder, RLIA is a
member of Wisconsin Lakes. Wisconsin Lakes is a statewide lake association which focuses on
legislative advocacy for strong statewide policy on clean water and lake sustainability for future
generations, as well as a robust education and technical assistance programs for citizens, lake
organizations, government officials, and others.
A number of RLIA board members, interested in wake enhanced technology (Jim Kerler, Tom Krejcie,
Susan Trier), made additional comments to Wisconsin Lake’s Recommendation in blue which is specific
to Rock Lake.)

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Links to Informaion from other Lake Groups

Enhanced Wake Studies

Enhanced Wake Synthesis
Follow the links to the most recent information about enhanced waves, wake boats and what other lakes in Wisconsin and elewhere are doing.

North Lake Mgmt. District Waukesha, WI Study (2021)

Mid Lake, Oneida County, WI Impact Report (2020)

Links to Informaion from State and National Groups

Wisconsin Association of Lakes

Lakes at Stake:  Lakes at Stake has hired a republican lobbyist to advocate for a wake boat ban on lakes less than 1500 acres.

Last Wilderness Alliance: