The following is a message from Steve Meyer, the Chairman of the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District’s Board of Directors.
We hear rising concern about bank erosion and weed spread from wakes. Shoreline erosion adds phosphorous to the lake, and invasive weeds propagate around the shoreline. Wake boats (sometimes called ballast boats) create 3’ + wakes. These take a very long distance to dissipate and can damage docks and shorelines. It is very difficult to enforce the 200’ no wake zone because there are no reliable reference points, i.e., no-wake buoys at the 200’ mark.
The upcoming Annual Meeting of the Hayden Lake Watershed Association Inc. will have a report on water quality and a panel discussion about invasive weeds and no-wake buoys. Early conversation begins at 6:00 at the Hayden Lake Country Club; the meeting opens at 6:30.
The Improvement District web page is a good source for weed management information.
Here is an update on the buoy planning going on:
- There is general agreement that the most effective way to get boater compliance with the 200’ no wake zone is through County Sheriff enforcement.
- Consistent placement of buoys at 200’ is needed for both boaters’ and Sheriff’s visual reference. Currently, buoys are not consistently placed, and the Sheriff cannot enforce the regulation.
- We don’t want a picket fence of buoys circling the lake.
- The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) has regulatory authority over encroachments into the lake including docks and buoys. Only those permitted by IDL are legal.
- Currently, a few legal buoys mark the western shoreline with permits issued mostly to the City of Hayden Lake.
- About 40 illegal buoys have been placed around the lake, by property owners, at varying distances from the shore.
- IDL plans to require removal of the illegal buoys.
- The County and the Watershed Improvement District have an agreement for the Improvement District to pay for placement of legally-permitted buoys.
- County Parks and Waterways applied for 14 buoy permits, and we understand that IDL intends to issue them.
- The preliminary plan has been to place 8 of the 14 buoys in high-trafic locations.
- We have 40+ miles of shoreline. How many buoys are appropriate?
- One idea is to place buoys within line-of-sight of each other, visible in the daylight and illuminated by blinking lights at night. These will provide all boaters with clear reference points.
- The Sheriff’s Marine Department will determine the exact location of buoys.
- We can give input to the Marine Department relevant to the number and locations needed.
The meeting this Thursday night is one of the few times when we all get together. Please come with your ideas.
I hope you can attend.
Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District