Boaters will see some navigational changes with additional no-wake restrictions on Lake of the Ozarks as the boating season gets underway and, as always, the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division is encouraging batters to remember the adage “know before you go”.

Boaters will see some navigational changes with additional no-wake restrictions on Lake of the Ozarks as the boating season gets underway and, as always, the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division is encouraging batters to remember the adage “know before you go”.

Water Patrol Division Capt. Matt Walz said boaters need to know the laws, know the weather forecast, know the conditions where you will be boating and know the capabilities of the boat you are operating and stay sober. Use caution, he said, and stay focused. One of the new laws on the water this season is the limited no-wake coves.

The Water Patrol Division has issued the first permits aimed at reducing wakes of bigger boats in smaller coves. Boaters can expect to see increased cove restrictions in at least 2 coves now, and possibly more pending the outcome of the upcoming June 15 hearing.

As of now, Water Patrol Division Capt. Matt Walz said a portion of Jennings Branch Cove at the 1-mile marker and Lynch Hollow Cove at the 10-mile marker have been approved for the limited no-wake cove status.

Walz said there have been other applications for permits filed that will be on the agenda for the June 15 hearing. The list of applications to be heard at the hearing are posted on the patrol’s website. More than 25 applications have been filed.

There is a link to Ameren’s GIS map that shows the limited no way coves on the patrol’s website at https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/WaterPatrol/index.html.

The law is aimed at reducing property damage from large wakes in certain coves. The no-wake in those coves will only apply to larger boats, 40′ or over in length. In order to issue the permits, residents in the cove will have to go through a petition process.
The new law allows for the limited no-wake cove rule to apply
to 40′ boats and larger in coves where the waterway narrows to 800′ or less. The new rule is the result of legislation passed in 2018. Prior to the new rule, the law required coves to be 400″ or less to be considered for no-wake designation.

What the bill did was increase the number of coves eligible to be considered for no-wake designation, imposed a fine for violators and decreased the number of required signatures of property owners within the cove.

In August of 2018, the law went into effect expanding what coves could be designated no-wake for larger boats in the lake. The implementation of the new regulations was pending the creation of a state regulation to detail how the permits for the coves would be administered.

The Water Patrol Division has been working on the implementation of the new regulations since it went into effect. No action could be taken on the new law until those state rules had been created and approved through the code of state regulations process which included a public comment period. The first two permits were issued this spring.