County motorboat chats are on boat use, property damage
Flowing Lake is focus of May 27 meeting
SNOHOMISH — The county parks department wants to log shoreline damage and erosion this season to consider whether changes on its lakes are needed. Some lakeside property owners say boats too oversized for local lakes are behind the trouble.
The purpose of the Motorized Watercraft Conversations is to hear the community. The county’s not at a point right now to modify wake limits, boat speeds or other policies, said Jeremy Husby, a parks division manager.
What they will do is collect at least one boating season’s worth of damage data and the community’s feedback, he said. What they learn might shape decisions as soon as next year.
Issues with Flowing Lake take the spotlight for the next focus meeting Thursday, May 27 at 6 p.m. It will be on Zoom; a direct link to join is www.tinyurl.com/CountyBoatTalk
A talk about Lake Roesiger was in April; Lake Shoecraft and Lake Goodwin are June 24 and July 22 respectively.
Higher lake levels have factored into damage, Husby said he’s hearing.
Newer-model boats have taller hulls and weigh more, which create a bigger footprint and, at speed, can make bigger waves. The wave forces can result in marine bulkheads — think of them like personal seawalls — getting deteriorated and piers being dislodged from pilings. Dock damage is a civil matter under the sheriff’s office, the county notes.
Shoreline owners can help: The county parks department newly launched a Wake Damage Reporting tool at http://bit.ly/snocoboat (no capital letters).
Four of the meetings focus on specific lakes because these allow ski and wake boats, Husby said. Each have water-ski courses that allow speeds of up to 35 mph. Most other county lakes restrict boat motors to 10 horsepower. The general speed limit at all county lakes is 8 mph.
The sheriff’s office’s marine unit, not park rangers, patrols the water. It’s a small group of 18 deputies in boats who cover 75,000 acres of county lakes and rivers. The most common citations they make are for people not wearing a lifejacket, negligent boating, boating while under the influence and boat drivers not having a state-required boater education card (if born after 1955), sheriff’s office spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe said.
To report property damage, fill out the form at http://bit.ly/snocoboat
The same website portal contains links to past meeting recordings.
The link for the county's wake reporting tool and Motorized Watercraft Conversations hub is http://bit.ly/snocoboat with no capital letters. An earlier display of this link had capital letters.
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