Enjoying water sports on Lake Fairlee.

Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes (RWVL) is a collaborative group of citizens from across Vermont who began working together in March of 2021 based on a collective concern about the adverse effects of wakeboats on Vermont lakes and ponds. Our group represents individuals from inland lakes and ponds with a full range of water-based recreational interests.

Report the number of wake boats on your lake.

RWVL petitioned Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources to adopt a rule to manage wake surfing activity on Vermont waters. This website introduces you to the reasons for our petition, the science that supports it, and the economic impact of the proposed rule.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has drafted a rule in response to our petition. The DEC conducted a public pre-rule making meeting on February 15 in Greensboro to receive comments on their draft rule. Comments overwhelmingly favored the rule, and most asked for it to be strengthened.

While RWVL applauds the Department of Environmental Conservation for its work to advance a wakeboat rule, and for adding a provision to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, we would like to see their draft rule made stronger. Their current draft does not fully achieve our goals to protect Vermont’s lakes and lake users both today and into the future. The rule should go further to better protect Vermont’s most vulnerable lakes from the present and future damage and dangers of wake sports.

The original petition from the RWVL called for wakeboats to operate no closer than 1000 feet from shore, in water at least 20 feet deep, in an area of 60 or more contiguous acres that meets these conditions. These parameters are supported by scientific research and by the reality of life on Vermont lakes where wakeboats have already appeared. 

The rule drafted by DEC reduces the distance from 1000 to 500 feet, and reduces the area from 60 to 50 contiguous acres. The DEC’s draft rule would not go far enough to adequately protect Vermont’s lakes and ponds from damage caused by wakeboats.  It would allow wake sports on many lakes and ponds too small to accommodate them safely. RWVL has compiled a list showing how each lake would be affected with shoreline offsets of 1000 and 500 feet.

If you would like to stay informed of the rule making progress, please go to our News page and sign up to receive our newsletters by email.

Contact RWVL at info@responsiblewakes.org

RWVL Picture Story Book

Wake Boats Educational Handout

Please Note: While the RWVL will periodically update and verify the links on this page, the RWVL is not responsible for the day-to-day functionality of the links. The RWVL is also not responsible for the content or accuracy of any non-RWVL links. Posting of hyperlinks does not signify endorsement by RWVL nor responsibility for hyperlink contents nor for any associated organizations.

RWVL will only use the information you send us here to send you news about Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes. We never share this information with anyone else. You may unsubscribe at any time.