No More Wake Boats on the Spokane River?

On July 10th, 2019, the Kootenai County Commissioners Office is proposing a ban on all ballasted and plowing vessels on the Spokane River.

This comes in response to a group of riverfront property owners, named “RiverFriends2019,” who are concerned their properties and the surrounding environment of the Spokane River are being negatively affected by the regular use and operation of wake boats.

You’re Invited

Anyone interested in this cause who wants to voice their opinion is encouraged to attend the meeting. This law could directly impact your summer activities and family fun if you are a water enthusiast.

The Main Objective

The main discussion will focus on the riverfront owners’ concerns regarding the damage caused by wake boats in the river. They claim that the frequent operation of these boats on the river destroys shorelines and damages private properties with their excessive speed and high wakes.

Additionally, three other priorities will be addressed in the meeting:

  1. Funding for two marine deputies whose primary objective will be patrolling the waters and enforcing local marine law.
  2. Mandatory Boater Education Program to be established, for individuals who receive moving violations while on county-owned waterways. This would be similar to a driving school.
  3. Education and awareness funding for local TV programs, newspapers, and public marketing signs.

The Concerns

Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding water areas have been a major tourist attraction, and a local favorite, for over one hundred years.

A large number of individuals and businesses, us included, are concerned that restricting wake boat access to the Spokane River impedes our rights as Idaho citizens to use the waterways.

In addition, 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. 

Furthermore, the Spokane River has no-wake zones for high traffic areas close to swimming beaches and marinas. This improves safety for all while also allowing residents and tourists to enjoy other areas of the river that are not high traffic. All no-wake zones are fully enforced and everyone obeys them, including wake boat operators. Claiming wake boat owners are the sole cause of the problem is completely unfounded.

When and Where

The meeting is at 9:00am tomorrow morning, July 10th. It will take place on the first floor of the Kootenai County Building in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The address is as follows:

451 N Government Way

Coeur d’Alene ID 83814

Join the Cause

Hagadone Marine, on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene. has been around for decades. It originally started as Yacht Club Sales & Service in 1944 before the Hagadone Corporation purchased it in 2004.

Hagadone Marine Group proudly serves residents and visitors with top-notch service, offering boat rentals and boat sales of all types. This includes pontoon boats, speed boats, and even wake boats. Furthermore, our Blackwell Island Marina is actually located directly at the mouth of the Spokane River where it meets Lake Coeur d’Alene. 

Rentals of all kinds, including wake boats, have a high impact on the local business economy and on you. Therefore, please consider joining us in fighting this motion. As Idaho residents, we all have the ability to impact this decision and fight for our rights.

Not able to make it in person? Consider calling the County Commissioners office today (contact information below) to voice your opinions and concerns. You have the ability to stop this motion from passing!

Bill Brooks – or phone 208-446-1605

Leslie Duncan – or phone 208-446-1604

Chris Fillios – or phone 208-446-1606