High river levels mean no wake zones in effect - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

High river levels mean no wake zones in effect


 LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) -  The Mississippi River is moving toward flood stage again, thanks in part to the recent rains in our area.

In La Crosse, the river has been above 10 feet for the majority of the boating season.

The National Weather Service says in the last two weeks the river has been below 10 feet for only three days, which means a no wake zone is in effect for multiple parts of the river.

Certain areas, like Riverside Park, are always a no wake zone. But when the river hits 10 feet, a no wake zone is also in effect near developed shorelines.

The City of La Crosse has an ordinance in place that enforces the no wake zone, to protect the homes and buildings along the shore, said La Crosse Police Sergeant Randy Rank. Fines for violating the no wake zone ordinance can cost up to $187.50.

"People have put the money into that and use it for recreation, so to have the waves constantly coming up and batter that shoreline would just destroy it and then we wouldn't be able to use it year round," said La Crosse Sheriff's Department Deputy Brandon Penzkover.

Besides their speed, boaters also need to be cautious of what's in the water. The high river levels and recent rains mean that debris and even trees are in the water.

A strong current is another beast to battle when you're on the Mississippi River.  Deputy Penzkover suggests when the water is this high, always wear your life jacket, and take the rules seriously.

Sergeant Rank suggests checking the river stage before you head out on the river, you can do so at the National Weather Service website.

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