COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — On a sunny fall day, a passing speedboat on Crooked Lake creates a postcard-like setting. It is an opportunity for peaceful recreation without leaving the metro.
But the sounds of passing speedboats caused some homeowners to fear losing their shoreline during the summer of 2014.READ MORE: Minnesota DNR Certifies New Muskie State Record, Previous Record Dates Back To 1957
“I think the high water mark occurred at the beginning of June and we really just couldn’t react.” Crooked Lake Area Association Vice President Gary Spiering said.
Record high-water levels in June 2014 brought high concern. Crooked Lake’s sandy soils are no match for pounding waves sent out by passing boats.
“There are a few that don’t live on the lake and they just don’t understand that when the water gets high it is a problem for the homeowners on the lake,” Spiering said.
What homeowners are trying to prevent is the loss of valuable shoreline. When lake levels are abnormally high, the simple wave action from a passing boat can eat deeply into the shoreline.
Because the lake is long but very narrow, waves from passing boats reach the sensitive areas along the shoreline much quicker.READ MORE: Jury Instructions Hammered Out In Kim Potter Trial
“Like everything else in the Anoka sand plain, we’re seeing higher highs, we’re seeing lower lows,” Coon Creek Watershed District Administrator Tim Kelly said.
Kelly calls Crooked Lake’s fluctuating water levels “volatile,” comparing it to the stock market on a bad day.
The cities of Andover and Coon Rapids have adopted a matching ordinance to settle it down. The ordinance gives both cities the right to impose no-wake restrictions on Crooked Lake whenever dangerous levels are reached, currently set at 861.6 feet above sea level.
The restrictions will be lifted when the level drops below that number for three consecutive days.
“This allows them to respond quicker because when the water levels come up, being in the sand plain, all those shorelines are sand and so they’re highly erodible,” Kelly said. “That’s not good for property and it’s not good for the lake.”
Giving the local municipalities more control over what is making the waves will be good news for all homeowners along the lake.MORE NEWS: Long-Term Care In MN: Gov. Deploying 1,000 Additional Certified Nursing Assistants By End Of January
Spiering says that wake restrictions should also help stop sediments and fertilizers from being washed into the lake, aiding in improving water quality.