MINNETONKA, Minn. (WCCO) – Water levels around the metro are finally beginning to drop, but boat traffic is still slow on Lake Minnetonka.

The “no wake” rule has been in effect for weeks, including the Fourth of July weekend.

It’s often the busiest weekend of the year for businesses along the lake, but “no wake” means less business to go around.

As the boats move slowly through the bays of Lake Minnetonka, so does the dockside business.

“Business has been really bad,” Docker Bayside Grille’s Matt Van Risseghem said.

With the no wake rule in place the Fourth of July weekend traffic on the water is below normal.

It’s typically the busiest weekend of the year for lakeside businesses.

“It’s definitely are biggest week it’s our Super Bowl,” Maynard’s Jack Stevens, said.

“Tips are down like 300 percent and really we just aren’t really getting much,” Risseghem said.

“Just knowing people in the area, they’re a little reluctant taking the boat out. They can’t go fast,” Maynard’s Matt Ursperinger said.

Bayside Grille General Manager Matt Ursperinger says he was thankful the lake peaked ahead of the Fourth of July because even with fewer boats for business, the restaurant had decent foot traffic for the holiday.

“It fell on a Friday this year and it actually turned out to be a great, beautiful day,” Ursperinger said.

After weeks of rain and high lake levels affecting business, the holiday weekend has come as some relief as a sign of business slowly coming back to normal…

“We’ve battled docks underwater this year. Now they’re up everything is good out there,” Stevens said.

“Hopefully the water levels can go down and the rain can stop,” Risseghem said.

Even if the boats will take a little longer to catch up.

Lake Minnetonka needs to drop nearly five inches, without rising, for three consecutive days before the no wake restriction is lifted.

It has made progress though, it’s gone down almost two inches in the past week.

At that rate, the no wake rule will be in place for another three weeks or so.


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