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Message from Kandiyohi County Sheriff

KANDIYOHI COUNTY
SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Law Enforcement Center
2201 NE 23rd Street, Suite 101
Willmar, MN 56201
Telephone: 320-214-6700
Fax: 320-231-6235
www.co.kandiyohi.mn.us

Greetings to All Green Lake Residents!

I hope everyone had a good winter whether they stayed in Minnesota or went to a warmer climate; by comparison to the 2013-2014 Winter this past winter was pretty mild!

Well, as most of you are probably aware, zebra mussels were located in Green Lake last year. This is too bad as Green Lake residents, along with State and Local agencies have worked hard at trying to stop the spread of zebra mussels into Kandiyohi County lakes. Kandiyohi County does have an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Task Force that was formed last year and has representatives from the lake associations, DNR, County Board, fishing leagues, law enforcement and watershed districts. One of the main functions of the task force is to educate the public about invasive species and what they can do to stop the spread of them. The Sheriff’s Office will have deputies working to enforce laws that were put in place by the legislation to help stop the spread of invasive species. We have been doing this the past few years. Some of the violations we have seen over the years are individuals not removing drain plugs before leaving the lake they are on, emptying live well water and removal of weeds from the trailers. Let’s all work together to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species!

On another topic, this year (2015) is the year that temporary structures and buoy permits have to be renewed. The Sheriff’s Office does this every two years and we have received quite a few back. Thank you for doing that and for those that are thinking about putting out  swim buoys, a swim raft or a mooring buoy please stop by the Sheriff’s Office to pick up a permit application or visit the Sheriff’s Office website to get this application.

Minnesota Boat and Water Safety Rule 6110.1800 spells out when a temporary structure and buoy permit is required. Deputies will be checking with the structures to make sure they have a permit number visible on them and if the structure in the water is permitted.

As always, if you have questions please call the Sheriff’s Office and we will assist you.

Thanks, and have a great summer!

Sheriff Dan Hartog

Click here to download a PDF version.

 


LAKE MARKERS, BUOYS & TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

REMINDER

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all lake property owners that pursuant to Minnesota Rules Chapter 6110, a permit is required to place temporary structures, buoys or signs in or on the water. For some time now, concern has been mounting with regard to the number of buoys and markers appearing on the lake and the size of designated private swimming areas.  Some apparently are being placed without a permit.

With respect to markers and buoys, 6110.1800 provides that "no person shall leave any temporary structure not extending from shore, or any buoy or sign in the waters of this state between the hours of sunset and sunrise without first obtaining a permit in writing therefor from the sheriff of the county. Mooring buoys must be placed as provided in part 6110.1500, subpart 4. Swimming area markers must be placed as provided in part 6110.1600".

With regard to designated private swimming areas, 6110.1600 provides that the owner or lessee of shoreline property may place white markers defining a swimming area adjacent to the property for personal use. This area shall not exceed 2,500 square feet in area and shall not extend more than 50 linear feet along the lake frontage of the owner or lessee. The markers may not be spaced more than 15 feet apart and must outline all the swimming area. No swimming marker may obstruct watercraft traffic or unduly interfere with public use of the water. If in the opinion of the local sheriff, the sheriff’s water patrol officer, or conservation officer, such conditions exist, they may direct the landowner or lessee to change the boundaries of the swimming area or have the markers removed. The landowner or lessee may appeal such a directive to the commissioner of natural resources.

Permits to place temporary structures, buoys or signs may be obtained by simply writing or stopping at the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department, 2201 NE 23rd ST, Willmar MN 56201 or by calling 320-235-1260 and an application form can be mailed to you.

For your convenience, current rules and regulations along with other information has been posted on the Green Lake Property Owners web site at www.greenlakespicer.com under the link "Sheriff’s Patrol".   It is our hope that by educating property owners and users of the lake that some of the issues developing can be resolved.       If you should have additional questions or if we can be of further help, please feel free to give us a call.


In the past the Sheriff's Office typically had one primary water patrol officer to cover all lakes in the county. However, following a meeting in August 1999 with members of the Green Lake Property Owners Association, additional deputies were trained and enforcement efforts stepped up with added focus to Green Lake.

In 2001 the Sheriff's Office was successful in obtaining a $5,000.00 supplemental enforcement grant which will essentially allow us to conduct added water patrols over and above what is normally budgeted. Presently, we now have four deputies dedicated to water patrol efforts that will be on duty primarily during increased times of activity such as weekends and holidays.

The Sheriff's Office is aware of some of the problem areas on Green Lake and although there are no ordinances or statutes that regulate the number of boats that use the lake or specific areas, actions of the occupants can be addressed. Using existing statutes, water patrol officers will be looking for and enforcing a number of violations including but not limited to; littering, underage consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, boating while intoxicated, illegal operation of watercraft, indecent exposure, etc.

Residents on the lake are encouraged to help by identifying and reporting suspected violations, including the registration number of the watercraft involved if possible. Reports can be made by simply calling the communications center at 235-1260.

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Regulations Regarding Buoys and Swimming Areas

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Other areas of concern that have been presented include the use of buoys to mark off swimming areas, temporary structures and operation of personal watercraft. Current regulations require a permit to place temporary structures, buoys or signs and may be obtained from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department, 2201 NE 23rd St, Willmar, MN 56201 or by calling 235-1260.  Current statute and regulations provide the following for each:

 

6110.1600 MARKING OF LEGALLY DESIGNATED SWIMMING AREAS.

Subpart 1. Individual private areas. The owner or lessee of shoreline property may place white markers defining a swimming area adjacent to the property for personal use. This area shall not exceed 2,500 square feet in area and shall not extend more than 50 linear feet along the lake frontage of the owner or lessee. These markers must have no less than six inches but no more than 14 inches showing above the waterline. Markers in the form of a cylinder must have a diameter of at least five inches and not larger than nine inches. Markers with a shape other than a cylinder may not have a length or width greater than 14 inches. Each such marker shall bear on opposite sides a one-half inch wide band of international orange color forming an upright diamond at least five inches in outside width, dissected vertically and horizontally by a one-half inch wide strip of international orange color. The border of the diamond and cross outline shall not be less than one-half inch in width. These markers may not be spaced more than 15 feet apart and must outline all of the swimming area.

No swimming marker may obstruct watercraft traffic or unduly interfere with public use of the water. If in the opinion of the local sheriff, the sheriff's water patrol officer, or conservation officer, such conditions exist, they may direct the landowner or lessee to change the boundaries of the swimming area or have the markers removed. The landowner or lessee may appeal such a directive to the commissioner of natural resources.

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6110.1500 WATERWAY MARKERS.

Subpart 1. In general. Except as hereinafter provided, or as otherwise provided by law, all waterway markers placed in or upon the waters of the state by public authority or under a permit issued by the sheriff of any county for the purposes hereinafter set forth shall have the form, size, lighting, reflectorization, and coloration prescribed therefore.

Subp. 2. Channel marker buoys. Channel marker buoys:

Every channel marker buoy shall have the external form of a cylinder having a circular transverse cross-section not less than nine inches in diameter. Channel markers must extend at least 36 inches above the water.

B. Where channel marker buoys are placed to indicate the location of a well defined boating channel, an all green buoy and an all red buoy shall be placed in opposition to each other to indicate the course of the channel is located between them. The red buoy or marker shall be situated on the right side of the channel when heading towards shore, or when heading upstream. A green flashing light shall be used in conjunction with a green buoy if it is to be lighted. When reflectorization is used with a green buoy, it shall be green in color and no less than a three-inch wide strip shall completely surround the buoy and shall be located at the top of the buoy. Number designations shall be odd. A red flashing light shall be used in conjunction with a red buoy if it is to be lighted. When reflectorization is used with a red buoy, it shall be red in color and no less than a three-inch wide strip shall completely surround the buoy and shall be located at the top of the buoy. Number designations shall be even.

Subp. 3. Other navigational buoys. A buoy indicating that a watercraft should not pass between it and the nearest shore shall have a circular transverse cross-section measuring not less than nine inches in diameter and shall extend at least 36 inches above the surface of the water. Each such buoy shall be marked with alternating vertical red and white stripes. White reflectorization may be used on a minimum of the upper four inches of the white vertical stripe. Red reflectorization may be used on a minimum of the upper four inches of the red vertical stripes. A white quick-flashing light shall be used if the buoy is lighted.

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Subp. 4. Mooring buoys. Every buoy placed in the waters of the state for use in anchoring or mooring watercraft may be of any practicable size or shape, but must have at least eight inches extending above the waterline. No anchoring buoy may have a diameter of over 24 inches circular or a width of more than 24 inches if some other shape. No mooring or anchor buoy may be placed in any public water if it obstructs access to any public or private property or creates a navigational hazard. No mooring or anchor buoy may be placed in or upon the water of the state except by public authority or under a permit issued by the sheriff of the county. Every such buoy shall be colored white and shall be encircled by a visible blue band at least one inch wide. Mooring buoys must have a minimum total of 16 square inches of white reflectorization, part of which must be visible from any direction. Mooring buoys, if lighted, shall show a flashing white light.

Subp. 5. Regulatory and information signs and buoys.
Regulatory and information signs and buoys:

A. No regulatory or informational signs or buoys may be placed in or upon the waters of this state, except by public authority or under a permit issued by the sheriff of the county. All such signs and buoys shall be colored white except as hereinafter provided.

When a buoy is used as a regulatory or informational marker (except in private swimming areas), it shall have two orange-colored horizontal bands completely around the buoy's circumference, one such band at the top, and the other just above the waterline. The appropriate geometric shape(s) indicating the buoy's purpose and any lettering or numerals shall be placed between these horizontal bands. The buoy itself shall have a circular transverse cross section of at least nine inches and shall extend at least 36 inches above the surface of the water.

B. Every sign or buoy giving information for the convenience of watercraft operators shall bear a two-inch wide orange-colored band forming an upright rectangle measuring at least 14 inches in height outside dimensions.  

C. Signs or buoys indicating danger to watercraft shall bear an orange-colored band of two-inch width forming an upright diamond at least 14 inches in outside height, and such signs shall bear a printed statement of the source of danger.

D. Signs or buoys indicating controlled water areas in which boating, fishing, water-skiing, skin diving, or other water activities are restricted, limited, or otherwise subjected to special rules or regulations shall bear a two-inch wide band forming a circle at least 12 inches in outside diameter. The limitation, restriction, prohibition, or regulation effective within a controlled area shall be printed inside of the orange-colored circle when possible.

Signs or buoys designating state game refuges, wildlife management areas, or spawning areas shall not be subject to the provisions of this order.

E. Signs or buoys directing all watercraft to keep out of a specific water area shall bear a two-inch orange-colored band forming an upright diamond at least 14 inches in outside height, dissected vertically and horizontally by an orange-colored strip two inches wide.

Signs or buoys designating state game refuges, wildlife
management areas, or spawning areas shall not be subject to the
provisions of this order.

F. Signs indicating winter ice dangers to persons, motor vehicles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, ice boats, or any other conveyance used to transport persons over the ice on public waters of the state shall bear a two-inch wide orange-colored band forming an upright diamond at least 14 inches in outside height and such signs shall bear a printed statement of the source of danger.

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Where used, except for the marking of aeration systems operating under a permit from the commissioner of natural resources, these signs shall completely line the perimeter of the ice hazard at intervals not exceeding 75 feet and shall be at least 48 inches above the ice. When a permit is issued for an aeration system, the commissioner shall specify the marking requirements for each system as a part of the permit.

G. No person shall operate any motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, ice boat, or any other conveyance used to transport persons over the ice on public waters of the state within 150 feet of a diver's warning flag described in Minnesota Statutes, section 86B.601.

H. Written material on any waterway marker sign or buoy shall be printed with black letters at least two inches in height, on a white background.

I. Every waterway marker driven into the bottom of a lake or stream, or attached to a post so driven, shall extend at least 30 inches above the surface of the water. The surface of the water shall be considered to be the normal high watermark during the local boating season.

J. Any sign may be reflectorized or fluorescent provided that the entire displayed surface is uniformly reflectorized or fluorescent.

K. The reflectorized material required by all sections of these rules shall retain 80 percent of its dry weather reflective signal strength when submerged in water.

L. Whenever an emergency situation requires that immediate warning be given of any hazardous condition on any waters of the state, any available object or apparatus may be utilized as a temporary waterway marker to give such warning until the emergency ceases to exist or until a marker complying with these regulations can be substituted therefore.

Subp. 6. [Repealed, 15 SR 2430]

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Subp. 7. Milfoil areas. Buoys or signs indicating an area that is infested with Eurasian water milfoil may be marked using a solid yellow sign or buoy. If a buoy is used, it shall be no less than four inches in diameter and extend at least 30 inches above the surface of the water. The words "Milfoil" or Milfoil Area" must appear on opposing sides of the buoy in at least two-inch high black letters. If a sign is used, it shall be no more than 12 inches in width or more than 18 inches in height and extend at least 30 inches above the surface of the water at normal high water level. The words "Milfoil" or "Milfoil Area" must appear on the sign in at least two-inch high black letters.

Subp. 8. Exceptions. Whenever an emergency situation requires that immediate warning be given of a hazardous condition, any appropriate marker may be used until such time as the emergency ceases to exist or until a marker complying with these rules can be obtained. In addition, the commissioner or designee may exempt specific types of waterway markers or buoys from the dimensional requirements of this part where safety would not be adversely affected and may also designate buoys or markers for purposes not previously set forth in this part.

6110.1800 PLACEMENT OF TEMPORARY STRUCTURES AND BUOYS IN THE
WATERS OF THE STATE.

Subpart 1. In general. No person shall leave any temporary structure not extending from shore, or any buoy or sign in the waters of this state between the hours of sunset and sunrise without first obtaining a permit in writing therefore from the sheriff of the county. Mooring buoys must be placed as provided in part 6110.1500, subpart 4. Swimming area markers must be placed as provided in part 6110.1600.  

Subp. 2. Permit for temporary structure or buoy. The sheriff of any county may issue a permit for the placement of any such structure or buoy whenever, in the sheriff's opinion, the structure or buoy will not constitute an undue hazard to or illegal obstruction of navigation.

Each structure or navigational buoy placed pursuant to such permit shall have the permit number painted on it and shall have attached either a light visible in all directions, or sufficient reflectorized material so as to reflect light from all directions, which material shall retain 80 percent of its dry weather reflective signal strength when submerged in water.  

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Personal Watercraft Laws

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In summary, the law requires that:

Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket).

Personal watercraft must travel at slow - no wake speed (5mph or less) within 150 feet of non-motorized boats, shore (unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water), docks, swim rafts, swimmers, or any moored or anchored boat.

Operation of personal watercraft is allowed only from 9:30 am to 1 hour before sunset.

If you tow a person on water skis, or any other device, there must be an additional person on board the personal watercraft to act as an observer. (The observer does not have to be facing backward.) The skier/kneeboarder etc. must also be wearing a PFD or there must be one on board the personal watercraft for the skier.
Factory-installed or factory-specified wide-field rearview mirrors are allowed instead of an observer when pulling a skier or other device (tube, kneeboard, etc.). The mirrors must be specified by the personal watercraft manufacturer. After-market mirrors, stick-on mirrors, motorcycle mirrors etc., do not qualify for the observer exemption.

If the machine is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch, it must be attached to the person, life jacket or clothing of the operator when underway.

You may not operate a personal watercraft if any part of the spring-loaded throttle system has been removed or tampered with so it interferes with the return-to-idle system.

You may not chase or harass wildlife.

You may not travel through emergent or floating vegetation at greater than slow - no wake speed.

You may not operate a personal watercraft in a manner that unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers life, limb or property.

You may not weave through congested watercraft traffic, or jump the wake of another watercraft within 150 feet of the other watercraft. This includes other personal watercraft.

A personal watercraft rules decal issued by DNR needs to be on the craft in full view of the operator.

You may not operate a personal watercraft while facing backward.

It is unlawful for the owner of the personal watercraft to permit its operation in violation of the age restrictions.

 

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