OUR VIEWS: No wake not clear

Jul 13, 2012

 

Head out onto the Grand River, however, and no-wake zones become as muddy as the water that flows through the piers and into Lake Michigan.

In some areas — such as from Grand Isle Marina downstream to Lake Michigan — nearly the entire section is no-wake, so the confusion in that stretch is minimal.

But head upriver, toward Pottawattomie Bayou or beyond to the gravel pits at the Bass River Recreation Area, and it’s nearly impossible do discern which stretches of water are open and which are no-wake zones.

Part of the confusion comes from the variety of ways the water is marked.

At some points, buoys anchored in the middle of the river proclaim an area as a no-wake zone. The problem is — depending on where you’ve launched your boat — it’s difficult to tell whether the buoy is marking the start or the end of a no-wake zone.

The confusion continues when individual property owners post no-wake signs on their dock or shoreline. Many of these look official, but are they?

Boaters shouldn’t have to play guessing games and risk having their day on the water ruined because of a pricey ticket for violating a no-wake zone. These areas should be clearly and consistently marked.

Maps at area boat launches with no-wake zones highlighted would be helpful. An easy-to-find, printable online map would also aid boaters.

Instead, a Google search only furthers confusion as to which stretches of the river are no-wake and which are not.

Boaters have enough to worry about — navigating through buoys marking shallow water and watching for other obstacles that might be floating down the river — to have to stress over where they can legally go fast.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier, Nick White and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

Eyebolt

"Boaters have enough to worry about — navigating through buoys marking shallow water and watching for other obstacles that might be floating down the river — to have to stress over where they can legally go fast."

--It looks like you basically listed several reasons why boaters shouldn't be going fast...legally or not. Perhaps not the greatest ending to the argument stating that boats should be able to easily identify where they can go fast.

dancingliberal

I usually take it quite slow and easy. I only speed up full throttle and close to shore when I see these type of signs on docks. " "The confusion continues when individual property owners post no-wake signs on their dock or shoreline. Many of these look official, but are they? "

lazy greyhounds

As a jet skier on the river and the big lake, I absolutely agree that no wake zones should be a bit more defined. The in-water markers could be modified with a small rudder of sorts to keep the marker oriented in a consistent direction with regard to river flow, and have the appropriate side of the marker labeled "Enter No Wake" and "Leave No Wake" to aid boaters. Property owners who do not reside within no wake zones should be forced to remove their official garage made signs. If they feel there is a need to have the frontage regulated as a designated wake zone, bring it up with the proper authorities. Peace, John

newspaperlawyer

What really constitutes a wake??? a busy weekend on the river created by multiple sized boats traveling at different speeds or even the wind speed and direction creates the waves in these slow no wake areas. Really what it has come down is the "opinion" by the coast guard or county sheriff officer if you are creating a wake in a" legally" market slow no wake zone. Property Owners feel they own the state and federal waterways and continue to get the ear of the state, county and twp officials for making these slow no wake areas.

Watercraft

SPECIAL LOCAL WATERCRAFT CONTROLS - OTTAWA COUNTY

GRAND RIVER - R281.770.11 - Slow--no wake speed.

11. On the waters of the Grand river, section 31, town 8 north, range 15 west, Crockery and Robinson townships, Ottawa county, from its confluence with Indian channel upstream 3,500 feet, it is unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. February 15, 1974

GRAND RIVER - R281.770.12 - Slow--no wake speed.

12. On the waters of the Grand river, sections 33 and 34, town 8 north, range 15 west, Crockery and Robinson townships, Ottawa county, from a point where 120th avenue, as extended, meets the water's edge, downstream for 2,500 feet and upstream for 1,500 feet, it is unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. February 15, 1974

GRAND RIVER - R281.770.19 - Slow--no wake speed.

19. On the waters of the Grand river, sections 16, 17, 20, and 21, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, from the Grand Trunk Railway bridge downstream for 3,200 feet and upstream for 1,000 feet, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. April 17, 1974

GRAND RIVER - R281.770.20 - Slow--no wake speed.

20. On the waters of the Grand river, sections 16 and 21, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, from buoy 14, which lies 600 feet, more or less, upstream from US 3l highway bridge, westerly to the west shore, and along the westerly shore to the entrance of South channel and when within 300 feet of the shoreline, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. April 17, 1974

GRAND RIVER - WC-70-95-001 - Slow--no wake speed.

(a) On the waters of the Grand river, from the U.S. highway 31 bridge upstream to the east line of section 21, located at a point on the river where the centerline of Beechtree street, if extended north, intersects the river, sections 16 and 21, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

(b) On the waters of the Grand river, from the southernmost point of the north shore of the South channel, thence in a westerly direction to the west shore of the Grand river, then continuing upstream to a point 3,200 feet downstream from the Grand Trunk Railway bridge, sections 17 and 20, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by t

History: Eff. January 10, 1996

GRAND RIVER - WC-70-96-001 - Slow--no wake speed.

On the waters of the Grand River sections 16 and 17, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Ferrysburg, Ottawa county, state of Michigan, commencing on the south line of section 17 at the shoreline of the Grand River, thence easterly on the south line of section 17 to the center of the Grand River, thence northeasterly along the centerline of the Grand River to a point 3,000 feet downstream from the Grand Trunk (now CSX) railway bridge, thence northerly to the shoreline of the Grand River, thence westerly along the shoreline of the Grand River to the south line of section 17, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff. July 3, 1996

GRAND RIVER, ENTRANCE CHANNEL - R281.770.17 - Slow--no wake speed.

17. On the waters of the Grand river and entrance channel, sections 19, 20, 29, and 30, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, from the entrance channel pierhead upstream to a line drawn from the north shore of South channel, at its confluence with the Grand river, westerly to the west shore of the Grand river, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. April 17, 1974

GRAND RIVER IN GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP - R281.770.6 - Slow--no wake speed.

6. On the waters of the Grand river in section 1, town 7 north, range 16 west, Grand Haven township, Ottawa county, it shall be unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed, which means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

History: Eff. June 25, 1971

GRAND RIVER IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE - R281.770.4 - Slow--no wake speed.

4. On the waters of the Grand river, sections 15, 16, 21, and 22, town 8 north, range 16 west, Spring Lake village, Ottawa county, beginning at the entrance to Spring lake and continuing in an easterly direction for a distance of 4,000 feet, it shall be unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed when within 200 feet of the north shore. Slow--no wake speed means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

History: Eff. June 25, 1971

GRAND RIVER, SOUTH CHANNEL - R281.770.18 - Slow--no wake speed.

18. On the waters of South channel, sections 20 and 21, town 8 north, range 16 west, city of Grand Haven, Ottawa county, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. April 17, 1974

GRAND RIVER, DICK’S LANDING - WC-70-96-002 - Slow—no wake speed.

On the waters of the Grand River, section 1, town 7 north, range 15 west, extending from where the easterly edge of Dick;s Landing Marina, parcel #70-08-01-100-012(1), meets the waters edge, downstream 450 feet and upstream 500 feet, it is unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow—no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff:January 16, 1997

LAKE MACATAWA - WC - 70 - 05 - 001 - Slow--no wake speed.

On the waters of Lake Macatawa, on that portion being east of a line beginning where Thomas Avenue, as extended, intersects the water's edge and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, to a line beginning where Cleveland Avenue, as extended, intersects the water's edge, and thence northwesterly to the nearest opposite shore, city of Holland and township of Holland, county of Ottawa, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel 26 feet or greater in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff. October 12, 2005

LAKE MACATAWA - WC- 70 - 05 - 002 - Slow--no wake speed.

On the waters of Lake Macatawa, on that portion being east of a line beginning where Thomas Avenue, as extended, intersects the water's edge and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, to a line beginning where Cleveland Avenue, as extended, intersects the water's edge, and thence northwesterly to the nearest opposite shore, city of Holland and township of Holland, county of Ottawa, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel 26 feet or greater in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff. October 12, 2005

LAKE MACATAWA - WC - 70 - 00 - 001 - Slow—no wake speed.

On the waters of Lake Macatawa, on that portion being east of a line beginning where Grove avenue as extended intersects the water's edge and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, to a line beginning where Myrtle avenue as extended intersects the water's edge, and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, city of Holland and township of Park, county of Ottawa, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed when within 200 feet of any shore.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff: Jan. 30,2001

LAKE MACATAWA - WC-70-91-001 - Slow--no wake speed.

Within the area hereafter described, on the waters of Lake Macatawa, within the city of Holland, Ottawa county, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed. Commencing at a point where Thomas avenue meets the water's edge, due north to the south side of the shipping channel to a point of intersection with Cleveland avenue extended to the shore. The boundary of the area to be marked with buoys placed pursuant to permit issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

History: Eff. December 13, 1991

LAKE MACATAWA-BIG BAY – WC-70-99-001 – Slow—no wake speed.

On the waters of Lake Macatawa's "Big Bay", on that portion being north and west from the lakeward end of Chippewa point, marked "piles" on the NOAA navigation chart, number 14932, along a line to a point where Maple Street ends at the water edge, Park township, Ottawa county, state of Michigan, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow—no wake speed.

The boundaries of the area described immediately above shall be marked with signs and with buoys. All buoys must be placed as provided in a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and be in conformance with the State Uniform Waterway Marking System.

History: Eff. October 22, 1999.

LAKE MACATAWA; BIG BAY, CONTROLED SPEED ZONE - R281.770.2 – Rescinded: September 6, 1999.

Publisher's Note: This local watercraft control pertained to a slow--no wake speed zone on Lake Macatawa, Big Bay, Ottawa county.

LAKE MACATAWA, CENTRAL PARK - R281.770.13. Rescinded

Compiler’ s Note: Pursuant to section 80133 of 1994 PA 541, as amended by 2000 PA 215, being section 324.80133 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, R281.770.13 of the Michigan Administrative Code is rescinded and replaced by WC-70-00-001, Eff. Jan. 30, 2001.

LAKE MACATAWA ENTRANCE CHANNEL - R281.770.21 - Swimming prohibited.

21. On the waters of the entrance channel to Lake Macatawa from Lake Michigan, section 33, T5N, R16W, Park township, Ottawa county, it is unlawful for a person to swim.

History: Eff. October 4, 1978

LAKE MACATAWA, KOLLEN PARK - R281.770.14 - Slow--no wake speed.

14. On the waters of Lake Macatawa, city of Holland and township of Park, county of Ottawa, east of a line beginning where Cleveland avenue as extended meets the water's edge, and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, to a line beginning where Washington boulevard as extended intersects the water's edge and thence north to the nearest opposite shore, it is unlawful for:

(a) The operator of a vessel less than 26 feet in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed when within 200 feet of any shore, dock, or pierhead.

(b) The operator of a vessel 26 feet or more in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed when within 600 feet of any shore, dock, or pierhead.

History: Eff. March 14, 1975

LAKE MACATAWA; PINE CREEK BAY - R281.770.3 - High-speed boating and water skiing hours.

3. On those waters of Pine Creek bay, Lake Macatawa, lying north of 42o47'10", no operator of any motorboat, during the period from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. of the following day, shall:

(a) Operate such motorboat at high speed, which means a speed at or above which a motorboat reaches a planing condition.

(b) Have in tow, or otherwise assist in the propulsion of, a person on water skis'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">water skis, water sled, surfboard, or other similar contrivance.

History: Eff. May 15, 1967

LAKE MACATAWA; WESTERLY PORTION - R281.770.1 - Controlled speed zone.

1. On those waters of the westerly portion of Lake Macatawa bounded on the north by 42o46'30" north latitude, on the east by 86011'32" west longitude, and at the westerly end of the entrance channel by 86012'57" west longitude, no operator of any motorboat shall exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. May 15, 1967

MACATAWA RIVER, CITY OF HOLLAND - R281.770.15 - Slow--no wake speed.

15. On the waters of the Macatawa river, city of Holland, county of Ottawa, from a line from where Fourth street as extended west intersects the water's edge and thence northeasterly to the nearest north shore, upstream to a point 1,500 feet upstream from the North River Avenue bridge, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. March 14, 1975

MILLHOUSE BAYOU - R281.770.7 - Slow--no wake speed.

7. On the waters of Millhouse bayou, section 1, town 7 north, range 16 west, Grand Haven township, Ottawa county, from Mercury Drive bridge to the Grand river, it shall be unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow-- no wake speed, which means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

History: Eff. June 25, 1971

PIGEON LAKE - R281.770.16 - Hours for slow--no wake speed.

16. On the waters of Pigeon lake, sections 15 and 16, T6N, R16W, Port Sheldon township, Ottawa county, it is unlawful, between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. of the following day, for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. July 17, 1975

POTTAWATOMIE BAYOU - R281.770.8 - Slow--no wake speed.

8. On the waters of Pottawatomie bayou, section 36, town 8 north, range 16 west, Grand Haven township, Ottawa county, for a distance of 500 feet westerly from Grand river, it shall be unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed, which means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

History: Eff. June 25, 1971

SPRING LAKE - R281.770.9 - Slow--no wake speed.

9. On the waters of Spring lake adjacent to the city of Ferrysburg, village of Spring Lake, Spring Lake township, Ottawa county, it is unlawful for:

(a) The operator of a vessel less than 26 feet in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed when within 200 feet of any shore, dock, or pierhead.

(b) The operator of a vessel 26 feet or more in length to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

(See R281.761.7 covering that portion of Spring lake which lies in Muskegon county.)

History: Eff. October 31, 1978

SPRING LAKE - R281.770.27 - Slow--no wake speed zone.

27. On that portion of the waters of Spring lake located within section 16, T8N, R16W, city of Ferrysburg, Ottawa county, and village of Spring Lake, Ottawa county, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed.

History: Eff. July 8, 1982

SPRING LAKE AND CONNECTED WATERS - R281.770.10 - Slow--no wake speed.

10. It is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed on the following described waters in the city of Ferrysburg, village of Spring Lake, Spring Lake township, Ottawa county:

(a) Smith bayou: On the waters of Smith bayou, sections 9, 15, and 16, T8N, R16W, city of Ferrysburg, Ottawa county, northwesterly of a line beginning where the centerline of Reenders street, as extended, intersects the water's edge and thence southwesterly to the nearest opposite shore.

(b) Hammond bayou: On the waters of Hammond bayou, sections 11 and 14, T8N, R16W, Spring Lake township, Ottawa county, easterly of a line beginning where the east line of lot 20, plat of Longview, intersects the water's edge and thence southerly to the nearest opposite shore.

(c) Cornelius bayou: On the waters of Cornelius bayou, sections 2 and 3, T8N, R16W, Spring Lake township, Ottawa county, west of a line beginning where the west line of lot 24, Belle Point subdivision, intersects the water's edge and thence southwesterly to the nearest opposite shore.

(d) Stahl bayou: On the waters of Stahl bayou, section 2, T8N, R16W, Spring Lake township, Ottawa county, north of a line from the easternmost point of lot 7, Belle Point subdivision, northeasterly to the nearest opposite shore.

History: Eff. October 31, 1978

SPRING LAKE ENTRANCE CHANNEL IN SPRING LAKE VILLAGE - R281.770.5 - Slow--no wake speed.

5. On the waters of the entrance channel to Spring lake, section 16, town 8 north, range 16 west, Spring Lake village, Ottawa county, from the Grand river, northerly to the Grand Trunk railway bridge, it shall be unlawful for an operator of a vessel to exceed a slow--no wake speed, which means a very slow speed whereby the wake or wash created by the vessel would be minimal.

History: Eff. June 25, 1971

Kdushane

No Wake Zone mapping is availbale on the Ottawa County GIS web site.
http://gis.co.ottawa.mi.us/
Hover over "Public mapping" and select "Water Recreation"

43°North

great info! thanks!

Soupy

The 'fake' no wake signs should be punishable by law. These idiots who buy a house on the river and then complain when a boat goes by need to move off the river.

 

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