Dickinson County Emergency Management Commission Revises High Water Rule

Fri 2-8-2019

(Spirit Lake)-- The Dickinson County Emergency Management Commission recently approved a revision to high water rules on the Iowa Great Lakes. Chairman Bill Maas tells KUOO news it basically lowers the threshold as to when a 5 mph speed limit on all of the Iowa Great Lakes would kick in...High Water Revision01 

"Basically what we did is we went and lowered the points of where the no wake, as some people call it, the 5 mph limit, would be started. I think we lowered it to 26 inches. We are not going to have the intermediate step in there where we moved the, which is impossible to do, to move all the buoys out to 600 feet. What we did is we go directly from normal activities to go down to the 5 mph limit. And when we do it on one lake, we're going to do it on all of the lakes so that we don't have that confusion about well it comes off on a certain part of the lake and then it comes off on another part, and so we did this with a lot of thought."

Maas says the revision was also made to make it easier from an enforcement standpoint...High Water Revision02 

"Law enforcement takes things very seriously out on the lake and they don't want to charge people unduly with things. It's difficult to tell people well you know where 600 feet is, well the truth really is a lot of people don't know where 600 feet is and they don't, law enforcement doesn't want that gray area, I mean there should be an area where it's this is right and this wrong."

Maas says the 26 inch trigger level was based on documentation as to when most shoreline damage starts to occur during high water levels.