Four additional coves added to Water Patrol no-wake list

JOYCE MILLER
Lake Sun Leader

Four more coves have been added to the no-wake list by the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division. The list includes all of or portions of coves that were approved by the water patrol division under a new state law. 

The law is aimed at safety and reducing property damage from wakes created by larger boats, specifically those 40’ or larger. The most recent round of no-wake buoy permits brings the total to six coves that have been approved under the new law. 

The coves approved for no-wake for boats 40’ or over in length:

• A portion of Jennings Branch Cove at the 1-mile marker 

•Lynch Hollow Cove at the 10-mile marker 

•Indian Creek Cove on the Gravois Arm near the 6.2 mile marker 

•A portion of Mill Creek Cove on the Gravois Arm near the 3-mile marker 

*Watson Hollow Cove on the Grand Glaize Arm near the 1.7-mile marker 

•Niangua Arm beginning at the 9.5-mile marker and going upstream 

The 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.

Capt. Matt Walz said the Water Patrol Division amended their regulations to address the issue by creating limited no-wake coves. The limited no-wake areas only apply to boats 40’ and greater in length and particularly those that are creating large wakes. 

“It stands to reason that as the average boat size increases, regulations have to be amended to address problems associated with that. We can’t keep burying our head in the sand and hope the wake issue goes away on its own,” Walz said. “At some point we need to take steps to improve the problem.”

It has been 15 years since the last regulation update to the division’s regulations. New regulations are not commonplace on Lake of the Ozarks, he said.  

“Ultimately, boating safety is a partnership between all of us who live, play and work on Lake of the Ozarks. The limited wake may not be popular with every boater, but the new regulation is necessary. Unfortunately, education on boat wake courtesy has not improved this issue as we had hoped,” Walz said. 

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