Tips from the EAC

“no-wake zones” at Roaming Shores


Definition of a “wake” by Eric Sparks, published May 04, 2017:
“A ‘wake’ is the waves created as a vessel travels through the water. A ‘no-wake zone’ is an
area where vessels are expected to travel at slow (idle) speeds to minimize the
wake…..Public safety is often the primary reason for establishing and enforcing no-wake
areas, and that is why most no-wake zones are near boat launches, docks or residential
areas. While public safety is the reason many of these zones are established, the reduction
of wakes in these areas also has benefits for the waterfront property owners and the
environment”


The Environmental Advocacy Club (EAC) recognizes that our lake is unique and so are the needs
for placement and enforcement of “No Wake Zones”. From the origins as Rock Creek, our Lake is
narrower than an average lake in Ohio. Maintaining this lake, which is traversed by boats with
unlimited horsepower engines, is complex. First, Roaming Rock Lake is the largest privately-owned
lake in Ohio, and it is our responsibility to maintain it. Second, with two major arms (plum Creek Arm
& Sugar Creek Arm) and over ten smaller coves there are numerous waterways that require special
piloting for safety. Third, continual water flowing from Rock Creek and the lake’s coves is sediment
rich. Wakes are waves and the waves in “No Wake Zones” are causing shoreline erosion and stirs
up bottom sediment, which contribute to poor water quality. This is critical information because idle
speed or minimal steerage speed is necessary to prevent stirring up bottom sediment in these
shallow areas.

In a paper written by David N. Nedohin and P. Elefsinotis “The Effects of Motorboats on Water
Quality in Shallow Lakes” proved that motorboat activity creates enough disturbance on the
bottom sediment
to release the stored phosphorous into the overlying water. A more detail report
by Timothy R. Asplund with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of
Wisconsin Report: “Boats may interact with the aquatic environment by a variety of mechanisms,
including emissions and exhaust, propeller contact, turbulence from the propulsion system, waves
produced by movement
, noise, and movement itself. In turn, each of these impacting mechanisms
may have multiple effects on the aquatic ecosystem. Sediment resuspension, water pollution,
disturbance of fish and wildlife, destruction of aquatic plants, and shoreline erosion are the major
areas of concern”.

While the EAC is not advocating reducing or restricting further boating use on our lake to help with
lake quality, we are asking that all boat owner please observe the “No wake Zones”. Presently, 30-
50% of boats in these areas leave visible waves. In order to have a healthier lake we all can do a
small part to eliminate shoreline erosion and improve lake quality at least in the areas designated.

Lake Dam Status

Lake Level Updates:
None at this time

Current Valve Status: Closed

Reason: No immediate risk of high water event

More information

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Roaming Shores, OH
April 22, 2021, 11:04 pm
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