MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Law enforcement say the holiday weekend was a quiet one on the state’s busiest lake.
Cloudy weather on Saturday led to smaller crowds on Lake Minnetonka.
Authorities are also crediting their ongoing safety education efforts with the calmer weekend, especially around Big Island.
Boaters like Rick Itow and his wife, Deb, launch their boat for a quiet day on the water, yet they still make time to pass by Big Island and the area known as Cruiser’s Cove.
“We drive by just for the entertainment and to see what’s happening,” said Rick Itow of Golden Valley.
Cruiser’s Cove has a reputation as the place to party making it the ongoing focus for law enforcement.
“There’s a significant public safety presence out there to keep people safe,” said Lt. Kent Vnuk of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
This weekend, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office put six boats in the area and brought in volunteer deputies to help patrol.
“They are a huge tremendous resource. Our special deputies are a force multiplier for us,” Lt. Vnuk said.
That increased presence, along with ongoing safety campaigns, are leading to what some say is a quieter crowd around Big Island.
“It’s been peaceful year so far,” Lt. Vnuk said.
The most noticeable difference at Big Island is among younger boaters. Lt. Vnuk said undercover operations and strong enforcement have led to a drop in underage drinking.
“We’ve issued 40 citations in June leading up to the Fourth of July and it’s paid off, it’s been pretty quiet,” Lt. Vnuk said.
Over the holiday weekend, HCSO had four BWI arrests on Lake Minnetonka.
“I think we are getting the message across,” Lt. Vnuk said.
HSCO did not have any reports of any serious injuries or accidents over the holiday weekend.