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Coeur d’Alene, ID – Over the last several months the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about wake zone violations, damaging wakes, speed, noise problems and other boating related violations on the Spokane River. These complaints are mainly directed at Wake Boats, however the Wake Boats are not the only vessels causing the complaints on the river.
County Ordinance 6-2-4 covers vessel operations on the Spokane River. Per this ordinance the speed limit on the Spokane River is 35 mph during the daylight and 20 mph at night. If you are within 100 feet of a dock, shoreline or structure you need to be traveling at a speed no greater than 5 mph and create no wake. If you are within 50 feet of another vessel your speed needs to be no greater than 15 mph. Additionally, no motor driven watercraft shall be operated at a speed or in a manner that creates an excessive, dangerous or damaging wake. In addition to this ordinance, the Wake Boat Industry recommends that vessel operators be at least 200 feet from the shore or dock when wake surfing, or wake boarding.
As a result of the numerous complaints received, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol will be conducting emphasis patrol on the Spokane River starting this Friday the 26th of July and go through the weekend. This emphasis will continue the following weekend as well. The Patrols will be targeting wake zone violations, damaging wake violations, speed, and other boating related violations. These patrols are being done to educate boaters and enforce the above listed problems to ensure everyone on the water has a safe and enjoyable time.
If anyone has any questions about the boating laws in Kootenai County or would like to sign up for a free boating safety class you can contact the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division at 208-446-1362.
Sheriff Ben Wolfinger
By: Lt. Ryan Higgins