Wisconsin News

Possible changes to no-wake zone on Mississippi

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Should boaters be forced to slow down as they go past Riverside Park in La Crosse? That's what the public debated Monday night at a committee meeting.

Since 2008, there has been a mile long "slow-no wake" zone in front of Riverside Park.

Businesses like the La Crosse Queen say it's necessary for the safety of their passengers and crew.

But opponents say it needs to be changed or go completely. That includes the Wisconsin DNR which says it's an unnecessary precaution.

"Because of the unusually large size of this zone, incorrect education material, lack of signs, and the relatively small buoys marking the ends of the zone, there are consistently boaters who violate the slow-no wake zone by running through on plane, essentially this area is unenforceable," said Wisconsin DNR Conservation Warden Ed McCann.

"We try to operate a business in town, we have buses coming in, they use your hotels, they stay overnight and you're jeopardizing the safety of our passengers if you open this up to a non-no wake zone," said Mississippi Queen Captain Mike Vogel.

No decisions on changing were made at the meeting Monday night. Any recommendation from the committee must be approved by the city council and county board.

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