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WBLCD: Preserving White Bear Lake for future generations

Q. What is the speed limit for boats on White Bear Lake?
A. The limit is posted at a maximum of 35 mph. This also applies to snowmobiles, cars, trucks and ATVs in the winter months.

Q. How far should boats stay away from swimming areas or scuba diving flags?
A. Minimum of 150 feet.

Q. What is a safe distance to maintain between a boat and a swimmer?
A. Rules dictate that no watercraft shall operate within 100 feet of a person in the water or on a raft. Boats and skiers must also maintain a distance of 100 feet from docks, other boats, rafts and swim areas.

Q. What are the rules for water skiing?
A. The towboat operator must be at least 13 years old, and the tow rope must be no longer than 100 feet in length. Skiers being towed must wear a Type I, II or III USCG PFD (personal flotation device) for their safety. No skiing is allowed within 100 feet of shore (except straight out from the shore). Boats and skiers must also maintain a distance of 100 feet from docks, other boats, rafts and swim areas. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, an observer is required on weekends and holidays from 12 noon until dark and on weekdays from 4pm until dark.

Q. What does No Wake Zone mean?
A. Slow your boat’s speed to under 5 mph to minimize the wake. In the shore zone (200– 300 feet from shore) and within 100 feet of any person in the water or on a raft, boaters should maintain the No Wake speed. You’ll see No Wake Zone buoys around boat launches, public swimming areas and other parts of the lake where a large wake from your boat could disturb other boats, people in the water, the shoreline or wildlife habitat.

Q. What are the boating rules for children?
A. Children under age 10 must wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) approved by the Coast Guard and sized for their weight when your watercraft is underway (not anchored, docked, moored or beached). Refer to the Minnesota DNR web site for additional information.

Q. What should I do if I get swimmer’s itch while swimming in the lake?
A. The itch is caused by a small parasite which normally infects snails and waterfowl. During the brief period when these parasites are present in the water, they can contact swimmers. Precautions such as showering immediately or briskly toweling off after swimming helps rub them off your skin. Consult the WBLCD to report the problem: 651-429-8520.

Q. When do I need a permit for an activity on the lake?
A. If there will be 50 or more persons (counting both participants and observers) involved, you need a permit from the WBLCD.

Q. Can I moor my boat in White Bear Lake if I do not own property on the lake?
A. Only in licensed areas or in an Authorized Dock Usage Area (ADUA) of a lakeshore owner—with written permission from the lakeshore owner.

Q. When does a private dock need a license?
A. When there are more than four boats (total on dock, moored and beached) or if there is more than one dock, a license from the WBLCD is required.

Q. What do the WBLCD ordinances cover?
A. Ordinances are available upon request and are on the website

Q. What should I do if I observe someone dumping leaves, dog droppings, trash, toxic substances or other pollutants on the shore or in the water?
A. Pinpoint the location with an address or visual reference, get the license number or boat registration number or other ID, and report it to the WBLCD immediately: 651-429-8520.

Q. What should I do if I am aware of a septic system failure?
A. Pinpoint the location with an address or visual reference, get the license number or boat registration number or other ID, and report it to the WBLCD immediately: 651-429-8520.

Q. What should I do if I am disturbed by loud noises of motorboats or jet skis?
A. Pinpoint the location with an address or visual reference, get the license number or boat registration number or other ID, and report it to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Water Patrol at 651-266-7350 and immediately follow up with information to the WBLCD at 651-429-8520.

Q. What should I do if I observe unsafe boating activity?
A. Pinpoint the location with an address or visual reference, get the license number or boat registration number or other ID, and report it to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Water Patrol at 651-266-7350 and immediately follow up with information to the WBLCD at 651-429-8520.

Q. Who patrols White Bear Lake?
A. Enforcement of all state water safety laws as well as WBLCD ordinances governing White Bear Lake are enforced by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Unit 651-266-7350 and the Washington County Sheriff’s Water Patrol at 651-439-9381.

Q. What can I do to get rid of the lake weeds around my dock?
A. Aquatic plants are important in preventing erosion, preserving water clarity and maintaining the general health of the lake and its fisheries. Removal by any means is governed by the Minnesota DNR. Permits are required in many cases. If you believe growth of aquatic plants near your shoreline creates a nuisance, contact a DNR Aquatic Plant Management Specialist at 651-259-5779 or 651-259-5816.

Q. How do I get rid of unwanted bait?
A. To protect our waters from the dangers of invasive species, you must dispose of unused bait (worms, leeches, minnows, etc.) in the trash. It is illegal to release the bait into the lake or into another body of water. You can keep the bait and use again if you refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.

Q. Do I need a permit for shoreline alterations?
A. The DNR encourages lakeshore property owners to keep shoreline alterations and aquatic plant removal to a minimum. Changes can greatly affect the health of the lake and can cause long-term damage and repercussions. Permits are required for some shoreline alterations, plant removal and treatment for algae or swimmer’s itch. You can read more here.

Q. Where do I find forms to get a permit?
A. Forms are available in our office and on our website.

Q. How do I bring a matter before the Board of Directors?
A. Contact the WBLCD office by phone, mail or email and explain what you would like to present. You may take it directly to the Board with or without prior notice. With prior notice, it will be added to the agenda. Without prior notice, you will be given up to 15 minutes to make your presentation, take Q&A and discuss during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

Q. What is the usable area around my dock and how do I resolve any conflicts about it?
A. Lakeshore property owners should design and position their dock so they can access the dock and lifts without intruding on a neighbor’s space. Lake life is much happier when we all respect each other. If a conflict arises, you can contact the DNR or the WBLCD.

Q. How can I volunteer and help make a difference in protecting and preserving our beautiful lake?
A. Residents and visitors can volunteer for special events by contacting the WBLCD or the City of White Bear Lake for opportunities of interest. The WBLCD often has need for board members or committee members. Check out our pages about the Board and Committees and feel free to make contact.
The White Bear Lake Area Historical Society also welcomes volunteers for scanning and recording photos and data, answering phones, distributing posters, processing mailings for events, or helping with tours and events. Contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-407-5327.

Q. Are the White Bear Lake marinas open to the public?
A. Yes! White Bear Lake has many marinas for your convenience with a variety of services available. You’ll find marinas that offer boat slips, gas, supplies, repairs, cleaning and winter storage. Many marinas also have watercraft for rent, including pontoons, boats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. You can also relax and enjoy the day on guided tours and cruises.

Q. Can we sail, windsurf and kiteboard on White Bear Lake?
A. There are opportunities for sailing, windsurfing and kiting at White Bear Lake. Kiters and windsurfers must watch out for crowds (and each other). Winter kiting is especially attractive to kiters as summers are a bit too congested with beach traffic. Windsurfing is popular with such an easily accessible location. Sailing is always a fun sport for families and friends.

Q. Is there a speed limit for snowmobiles?
A. Yes. Minnesota’s maximum speed limit for snowmobiles is 50 mph. The DNR has excellent safety tips so snowmobilers can enjoy their outdoor experience safely. Remember that riding on ice can be dangerous, and it’s a good idea to wear a life vest over your outer gear. Here are other tips from the DNR for safety on ice.

 

contact info2

Contact WBLCD

+1 (651) 429-8520

WBLCD
4701 Highway 61
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

office@wblcd.org