High water levels prompt slow no-wake ordinance on two area lake - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

High water levels prompt slow no-wake ordinance on two area lakes


MADISON (WKOW)-- The Dane County Sheriff's office has issued a slow no-wake ordinance for Lake Monona and Lake Waubesa. They say the water levels are the highest they have been in more than five years.

With the water as high as it is right now officials say even small waves can cause significant erosion to the shoreline. The ordinance aims to help out homeowners who live along the lakes.

"I watched a wave come through and just completely knock down my wall in one section," homeowner Scott Blood says.

Blood is in a little bit of a dilemma. As a wake boarder he's disappointed he can't take his family out on the lake, but as a homeowner he's happy about the county's decision to issue a no-wake ordinance. Over the past few days his dock and boat lift have slowly disappeared into the lake.

"In this area we definitely need folks to be going slow because just a couple waves will do a lot of damage," Blood explains.

Neighbors say the damage would even worse if it weren't for the improvements many homeowners have made since the last time water was this high.

"My neighbor next door just raised his house last year and he would be under water right now if he wouldn't have done that," Blood says.

The high water is also having an effect on wild life. Several trees have been pulled into the lake along with other brush and debris. Officials also think the high water might have an affect on algae blooms in the lake.

"It causes a lot of problems," Dane County Deputy Jeff Nelson says.

Nelson and two other deputies with the Dane County Marine and Trail Enforcement Unit are working to make those problems less severe. Thursday afternoon they started their first of many "no-wake patrols" along the lakes.

"We'll have probably three boats out for now for the next several days until we figure out what's going on with the slow no wake," Nelson says.

During his patrol Thursday night our camera crew watched Nelson stop several boats on Lake Monona. Each time he would educate them about the ordinance and ask them to slow down.

"It's going to be a short time thing hopefully," Nelson says. "Hopefully the water levels go down and the rain will subside."

Deputies aren't exactly sure how long the no-wake ordinance will last. They say it will for sure go through this weekend, but will likely last a couple weeks after that. They say it all depends on how long it takes the water levels to go down.

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