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Rules of the lakes for 4th of July

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 2, 2013--7:15p.m.
"Because I've got the day off and it's gorgeous out here and...this is one of our favorite places to go boating," said Chrystal Shedd, explaining why she and her family were taking the boat out on Lake Monona Tuesday morning.

If you have similar activity hopes for this weekend, plan accordingly: They're expecting boat traffic to be pretty heavy the next few days.

"I've come up through the locks in past years and you'll wait half an hour, 45 minutes to an hour just to come up through the locks," said Deputy Jeff Nelson, with the Dane County Sheriff's Department. "The boat landings are the same way. Parking's going to be tight. There's a lot of people out plan accordingly. Spend your time figuring out where you're going to launch, the best place and give yourself enough time to do that ."

A reminder, if you're going to be out on lakes Monona, Waubesa or Kegonsa--all three currently have slow, no-wake rules in effect. "Slow, no-wake means the slowest possible speed that your boat will go and still be able to steer it," said Deputy Nelson.

Lake Mendota does not have a slow, no-wake rule at the moment, so Deputy Nelson said they're expecting that to pull more boaters towards that lake this weekend. "Without a doubt there's going to be a lot more boaters on Mendota," he said. "I mean it's hard to go slow, no-wake all day. I mean people don't come out here just to go slow, no-wake all day so I think Mendota's going to get hit a lot harder."

POSTED: Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 --- 12:20 p.m.

With high water, high boat traffic, and a mid-week holiday, Dane County is adjusting some of the rules of the water this week.

Right now three of the four major Dane County lakes are under Emergency Slow-no-wake rules: Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa Lakes. This means boaters can only go the minimum speed they need to be able to steer their boats (Crystal Lake near Lodi in northern Dane County is also under slow-no-wake rules). The only Dane County lake that is not under the rule is Lake Mendota, at the top of the Yahara River chain. However, Lake Mendota will have a temporary Slow-no-Wake Ordinance tomorrow night (July 3rd) during the Rhythm and Booms Event. This will be enforced beginning at sunset (about 8:40 p.m.) and will last until midnight.

Dane County has also adjusted times for the Tenney Lock which controls boat traffic between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. The extended hours will go from July 3rd to July 7th.

Wednesday 7/3 Rhythm & Booms
12 Noon until 12:00 PM or until the last boat in line is through the lock.

Thursday 7/4
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (extended hours)

Friday 7/5
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (extended hours)

Saturday 7/6
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (extended hours)

Sunday 7/7
9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Clearance height to travel through the Tenney Lock is currently at about 6-feet, however, there may be bridges where the clearance is less than 6-feet.

For more information on the Tenney Lock
Tenney Lock

For more information on Dane County Parks
Dane County Parks
Parks office at 608-224-3730

Dane Waters

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