Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes petitioned the Agency of Natural Resources in March of 2022 to amend the Vermont Use of Public Water Rules to regulate wake sports in a responsible manner. In response, the Department of Environmental Conservation drafted a rule, which is now working its way through the state rule-making process. The RWVL petition proposed this amendment:

Use of wake boats for wakeboarding and wakesurfing is permitted only in defined areas of water bodies (“wake sports zones”) where all the following conditions are met:

1) the distance from shore is greater than 1000 feet
2) the water depth is greater than 20 feet
3) the area of the water body satisfying 1) and 2) is more than 60 contiguous acres.

For water bodies where no such areas exist that satisfy all three conditions, vessels defined as wake boats are prohibited.

The proposed rule does not apply to use of a wakeboard behind a conventional vessel that has not been modified with wake-enhancing equipment.

This rule will effectively keep wake surfing off our smallest lakes, and on the larger lakes restrict the surfing to the deep water far from shore. The 54-page petition includes a rationale for the proposed amendment, scientific research to support it, and examples from Vermont lakes. You may download a copy here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the RWVL Petition

43 Environmental organizations and Lake Associations support our petition for a 1000-foot standoff.

Opposition to the petition has come from wake surf boat owners and manufacturers. The National Marine Manufacturers Association sent to the DEC in July of 2022 a long commentary. Our response to this commentary rebuts their arguments.

supporting organization logos
Organizations Supporting RWVL’s ANR Petition
1Aloha Foundation—of youth camps 
2Connecticut River Conservancy 
3Deerfield River Watershed Association 
4Echo Lake Protective Association  
5Fairlee Selectboard   
6Lake Morey Protective Association 
7Lake Eligo (Elligo) Association
8Lake Elmore Association 
9Lake Fairlee Association Board 
10Lake Iroquois Conservation Group 
11Lake Parker Association, Inc. 
12Lakes Environmental Association (Maine) 
13Lamoille County Natural Resources Conservation District 
14Maine Lakes 
15Michigan Lakes and Streams Association
16MN COLA (Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations)
17Morristown Conservation Commission  
18Northern Forest Canoe Trail
19Peacham Pond Lake Association 
20SafeWakes for Minnesota Lakes 
21Shadow Lake Association   
22Siskin Ecological Adventures/Coutts-Moriarty Camp
23Thetford  Treasure Island Committee 
24Thetford Conservation Commission 
25Town of Craftsbury Select Board
26Town of Elmore Select Board 
27Town of Glover Select Board 
28Town of Thetford Select Board 
29Trout Unlimited Vermont Council 
30Vermont Audubon 
31Vermont Center for Ecostudies 
32Vermont Chapter of Sierra Club 
33Vermont Natural Resources Council 
35West Fairlee Selectboard 
36West Fairlee Conservation Commission 
37Windham County Natural Resources Conservation District 
38Windham Regional Commission 
39Woodbury Lake Association 
40Joe’s Pond Association
41Sunset Lake Association
42Averill Lake Association
43Lake Carmi Campers Association
Organizations Supporting  Managing Wake Boats, but Not RWVL’s Petition
1Fairlee Marine 
3Hinesburg Conservation Commission
4NH Lakes Association 
5Town of Hinesburg

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