Wisconsin Fishing Discussion

Wake Boats Effecting our Wisconsin Waters

12/26/23 @ 10:49 AM
User since 8/4/03


Displaying 1 to 15 of 118 posts
3/14/24 @ 1:17 PM
User since 6/19/01
I'm not clear how DC lobbyists could have much impact here, as its not federal legislation thats necessarily needed.  But as noted below a few posts, the WSIA does have lobbyists in Madison working on the issue, effectively it appears.

Regardless of lobbyists, if the legislature wanted to pass something in response to constituent concerns, it could easily be done.  The current legislature does NOT want to pass anything, so it is not being done.  Lets hope that the next WI legislature, with a markedly different makeup, will respond to the people.
3/14/24 @ 12:00 PM
User since 6/20/01
I asked a Warden at the Sport Show (yeah, it sucked) if they were considering an open season on wake boats with liberal bag limits.  He said no. 

What he did say is interesting.  The wake board side haa their own lobbying group in D.C. so the chances are slim-to-none (and slim left town) that this will go through.
3/14/24 @ 11:25 AM
User since 5/29/11
I mostly agree with Brent. I think it should be 300 feet and lakes over 600 acres.
The ballast water is the big item.. The DNR gets all bent out of shape with a cup of water in your livewell or bilge and wake boats dump gallons in a lake while the DNR turns a blind eye to that issue.
2/23/24 @ 11:18 PM
Carp King
User since 8/7/01
I remember growing up people couldn't drive fast enough to throw up water Down in Illinois ( whatever that's called ). So they used to come up here and fly around the lakes.

We used to fish a lake up north where motors were allowed on one half of the lake only and the fishing was better on the other side of the lake.
2/22/24 @ 1:17 PM
User since 6/19/01

Latest news on this topic by Paul A. Smith of the MJS.
Legislative Rs have punted on the topic, effectively shelving any effort in response to overwhelming constituent support, to conduct a 2 year study on the impact of wake boating.

They also let the reasonably restrictive Sen. Jacque plan die without support.  It seemed to hew quite closely to the Vermont legislation.

Of additional note, the article calls out the lobbying efforts of the Water Sports Industry Association and its in state firm Schrieber GR.

Its a poor outcome, in my opinion.
2/17/24 @ 6:09 PM
Brent Hess
Brent Hess
PRO MEMBER User since 12/18/07

Snowmobiles, ATV's, and wake boats all have their place.

Sleds and UTV's should be on designated trails, and wake boats should be 200 feet from shore, in 20+ fow, and able to drain there ballast tank. Cabin cruisers or wake boats are fine so long as they're not creating a wake within 200 feet of shore. 

I've commented on this before as I used to be on our village board of trustees.  If a resident came to a meeting to share that vehicles were speeding. Not stopping at stop signs, etc, we always directed our PD to patrol the area and fix the issue.  

Don't know about ATV's as I don't trail ride much, but I see plenty of LEO's on sleds patrolling, or squad cars waiting at intersections. In Vilas along with the DNR, the trails have sheriff's on sleds too.  And they absolutely enforce the laws.  Last year my son got pulled over for going 33 in a 25 by a sheriff deputy in a car. 
2/16/24 @ 2:30 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 2/8/06
Vermont has the right idea and I hope it carries over to other states including the inland lakes of the Midwest.
The closest Midwest state that manufactures one of the most popular Wake boats is Cadillac, Michigan and that’s the Scarab.
Wake boats are just as popular in the South and out West

2/16/24 @ 2:09 PM
User since 10/3/12
I like what Vermont did. However there is a difference between Vermont and Wisconsin being that Wisconsin and Minnesota are home to major boat manufacturers who lobby for favorable economic conditions to sell their boats.  Also to consider is that Wisconsin is THE major playground for Twin Cities and Chicago boaters. 
2/15/24 @ 6:04 PM
User since 10/24/17
PRJ, they are limited to those trails but the regulations aren't enforced, and there is no effort to enforce them because that could hurt the county's reputation as the place to ride.  I hunt everyday from early Oct- early Nov and encounter utv/atv on trails designated for no motorized vehicles on an almost daily basis,  multiple times a day Friday- Sunday.  Every gate has a UTV/ATV trail the circumvents it, so every LEO knows its going on but don't care.  

The reason I threw in recreational boats because wake boats are recreational boats, the folks that are pro wake boats aren't going to show tourism dollars from wake boat user but will show tourism dollars brought in from recreational boaters.  They argue if we restrict wake boats what next cabin cruisers that throw out a huge wake.  For the record I hate wake boats, and fed up with UTV/ATVs where they're not supposed to be.
2/15/24 @ 6:02 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 1/22/21
People are waking up slowly. Pardon the pun. If you had a wake boat, would you like to have it professionally cleaned every time you went to a different lake? It’s going to be tough to keep them in the market place for major fishing states. 
We don’t have any that come on our lake thank goodness. 
2/15/24 @ 5:44 PM
User since 6/19/01
Great step for Vermonters, kudos to them for efforting this and creating a viable framework.
2/15/24 @ 4:58 PM
Gil Fisher
Gil Fisher
User since 7/31/04
Today the State of Vermont formally approved their wakeboat regulations. They go into effect this boating season. 

They are:
1) Wakeboating (i.e. using ballast and/or plowing allowed only on 30 designated lakes)
2) Wake sports on those 30 lakes must be in a pre-designated zone or box that is at least 500 feet from shore and in 20 foot or greater depths
3) Wake sports banned on 770 lakes in Vermont deemed either too small or not having at least a 50-acre box that is 500 feet from shore/20 foot depth
4) If you move your wakeboat to a different lake, you need to have the ballast tanks professionally cleaned, to clear any AIS that might be in them

As part of these regs, the State was required to do an economic analysis. They added up the costs of not regulating, versus the costs of losing tourism to wake boaters and also sale of the boats. The report said the positive impact of the regulations was 10 to 1 against not doing anything. 

Same analysis would apply in Wisconsin. The fishing industry here is a $2 billion behemoth. We're a sleeping giant. If we awoke, the wake sports would be in serious trouble. 
2/15/24 @ 3:30 PM
User since 6/19/01
Correct me if inaccurate, but I believe that UTV/ATV riding is limited to trails/roads designed to accommodate them and minimize any peripheral damage on public lands.  Thats all people are asking for; regulating wake boats to limit damage on public lakes.  Consider the depth and required distance from shore the "trail" or "road".

Not certain why you tossed "recreational boating" into your justification for allowing wake boats.
2/15/24 @ 2:51 PM
User since 5/10/14
Wakeboard tourism can't be as large as the fishing tourism. 
2/15/24 @ 10:10 AM
User since 10/24/17
There's are all kinds of studies (along with common sense) that shows the negative impact that recreational UTV/ATV riding has on the land, water quality, wildlife, and non-riders, but that hasn't stopped every county government in Northern Wi from promoting the opportunities their county provides.  We all know its because of the tourism dollars that riders bring has a bigger impact than tourism dollars lost from people that are fed up with all the UTV/ATV traffic in the north woods.  I suspect this wake boat issue will play out in a similar fashion, if the wake and recreational boaters bring in more tourism dollars than the tourism dollars lost from users avoiding these lakes, nothing will happen.  If wake boats are having a negative impact on tourism, than the environmental impacts will be used to justify regulating them.
Displaying 1 to 15 of 118 posts
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