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Dane County Slow-no-wake Requirements

Slow-no-wake Restriction Map

  • Green Lake = Normal Slow-no-wake Restrictions
  • Yellow Lake = Emergency Order: slow-no-wake within 500 feet of shore
  • Red Lake = Emergency Order: slow-no-wake entire surface area

Emergency Orders and Press Releases

Aug 29, 2013 Slow-no-wake Orders removed for Squaw Bay

Aug 9, 2013 Slow-no-wake Orders removed for Crystal Lake

July 10, 2013 Lake Waubesa Slow-no-wake Removal

Previous Emergency Orders and Press Releases

Normal Slow-no-wake Restrictions

On the Yahara Lakes, Dane County has in effect a slow-no-wake ordinance, see Chapter 72, that goes beyond the minimum state boating requirements.

The ordinance establishes a 200-ft slow-no-wake zone along the entire shorelines of Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa. Within that zone, boaters must not travel faster than slow-no-wake speed, which means the minimum speed at which a motorized watercraft is able to move and maintain adequate steerage control.

There is an exception to this requirement on Lake Monona from Law Park to a point 1000 feet due north of the intersection of John Nolen Drive and Lakeside Street. Beware of water skiers practicing and performing in this area.

In addition, the entire surface of Lake Mendota is a slow-no-wake zone from sunset to midnight on the date when the Rhythm and Booms fireworks display is held at Warner Park in the City of Madison.

What is the Purpose of Slow-no-wake Restrictions?

The slow-no-wake requirements were created to minimize conflict between various user groups, avoid accidents or lessen their severity, protect human life, provide safe swimming zones, assure and encourage multiple use of surface waters, reduce shoreline erosion, protect fish spawning areas and protect wetlands, bogs and other sensitive areas.

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