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    “No-Wake Zone” Established on South Dakota’s Lake Madison to Protect Private Property from Damage

    At the request of the Lake Madison Lake Association, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has implemented a temporary “no-wake zone” within 300 feet of the shore on the lake, effective at noon on Friday, May 25, because of a high water level.

    The “no-wake zone” allows boats and other watercraft to operate at higher speeds on Lake Madison, provided they do so beyond the perimeter of the protective 300-foot-zone around the lake shore.

    A number of Lake Madison lakeshore residents approached the Lake Madison Lake Association expressing concerns about the potential for additional property damage caused by boat wakes.   High water and brisk winds have already caused shoreline damage in several areas.  The Lake Madison Lake Association subsequently asked Department of Game, Fish and Parks officials to consider the no-wake request to protect private property around the lake.

    State law gives the Governor authority to prohibit or restrict recreational use or navigation on any portion of a river, lake or stream in order to protect the public peace, health, or safety.  The new order will be in effect until rescinded by Gov. Daugaard.

    “This temporary “no-wake zone” was put in place at the request of homeowners who live on Lake Madison as a means to protect private property that is now inundated by high water,” said Emmett Keyser, Assistant Wildlife Director for Game, Fish and Parks.  “Many of these homeowners have landscaping and other structures that are under water due to recent heavy rains in the Lake Madison watershed.  Once the lake elevation drops to a point where private property will no longer be impacted, we will request that the “no wake zone” be rescinded.”

    A violation of a public waterway restriction is a Class 2 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both.

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