COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Kootenai County Commissioner’s Office is discussing possible restrictions for wake boats following concerns by local property owners.
The restrictions were discussed at a meeting on Wednesday morning. Some property owners along the Spokane River said the waves caused by the ballasted and plowing vessels are damaging their docks and the river environment. On top of that, they claim the boats pose threats to other people who use the river, like swimmers, canoeists and kayakers.
Those who oppose the restrictions, including the Hagedone Marine Group, said a ban on wake boats would impede on their right as Idaho citizens to use public waterways.
In a letter the HMG said "this motion is discriminatory against one class of boating in particular and insinuates that wake boats are the only ones causing damage to local marine life and private property owners. All local waterways should be accessible to anyone. This includes swimmers, kayakers, paddleboarders, fishing and towing boats, and yes - even wake boats."
They also said new restrictions are not needed because there are already “no wake” zones in effect for high-traffic areas.
4 News Now spoke to County Commissioner Bill Brooks, who said that as of right now, the situation remains just a discussion about finding the best way to protect the community and all of its interests.
We also spoke on the phone with Hagedone Marine Group who said they felt the commissioners did a fair job making sure multiple opinions were heard and that they don't expect any changes to be made for this season.
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