No plowing allowed, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol who just issued new no-wake guidelines for the heaviest traffic day of the 2018 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

No plowing allowed, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol who just issued new no-wake guidelines for the heaviest traffic day of the 2018 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

Boaters attending the race on August 25 will be subject to more restrictive navigation as they head upstream at the conclusion of the race. The highway patrol announced earlier this week an extended idle speed area will be in effect from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the main channel from the 31.5-mile mark downstream to approximately the 21-mile mark. The extended idle speed area is in addition to the no-wake restriction implemented for the event itself. The majority of the boating traffic exits the event in a downstream direction.

The extended navigational restrictions are intended to assist in maintaining a safe boating environment and preventing property damage. The extended idle sped zone means no plowing allowed. A boat plows when it is at a transitional speed between idle and being on plane. Plowing creates large wakes which can create navigational problems for other boats as well as damaging docks and excessively eroding the shoreline. With the large number of vessels on the lake during the boating season, plowing can contribute to a potentially dangerous environment by creating rough water.

“In order for an event the size of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to occur, it is necessary to place restrictions on area boating traffic,” said Colonel Karsten in the release. “Our priorities must be public safety and protecting property when issuing a permit for an event of this magnitude.”

MSHP Water Patrol Division Director Captain Matt Walz said based on experience with the Shootout, approximately 90 percent of the boats attending the event travel downstream when exiting the area. Several thousand boats were in attendance last year, with some estimates as high as 5,000 spectator boats attending. 

The event draws thousands to Captain Ron’s at the 34-mile marker area of the main channel of the Lake. The venue has hosted the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout for the past decade. It is one of the largest unsanctioned boat races in the country. The event requires a regatta permit from the MSHP.

Karsten said the Patrol will conduct enforcement operations throughout the restricted areas during the affected times. That will include a strong presence during the 2018 Shootout with marine troopers stationed throughout the area of the races both days, as well as in the extended idle speed area to the 21-mile marker for Saturday only of the event, Walz said.

The Shootout had similar restrictions in place last year, but issues with boat wakes created by spectators leaving the event at the end of the no-wake period prompted the MSHP to extend the no-wake period later in the day for this year’s event.

The change in the idle speed zone coincides with an increase in the number of water patrol division officers assigned to Lake of the Ozarks. Two new marine troopers will be added to Lake of the Ozarks during the upcoming boating season. Beginning their marine training in April, they should complete their training and be working on their own by mid-July.  This will put the number of marine troopers in Miller, Camden, and Morgan counties to 18, Walz said.  

It should be noted that by state law there is a night-time speed limit on the Lake of 30 mph.